U.S. Summons Oren Over 'Unacceptable' East Jerusalem Evictions

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published August 04, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Washington issued another diplomatic protest over Israeli conduct in East Jerusalem on Monday, its second in as many weeks.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman summoned Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, to tell him that the United States views Sunday’s eviction of two Palestinian families from homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as a “provocative” and “unacceptable” act that violates Israel’s obligations under the road map peace plan.

Oren responded by saying that the buildings in question have been Jewish-owned since before Israel’s founding, and that a court ordered the families’ evictions because they had violated the terms of their leases.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also denounced the evictions publicly on Monday, terming them “deeply regrettable” during a joint press conference in Washington with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. She said the evictions violated Israel’s commitments under the road map and would impede progress toward peace, adding that the United States would not recognize any unilateral changes to the status quo in Jerusalem.

Two weeks ago, Oren received a similar American protest over a plan to build 20 apartments for Jews in the Shepherd Hotel compound in Sheikh Jarrah. That protest prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to retort that Israel would never accept Jews being denied the right to live anywhere in Jerusalem.

Shortly before Oren was summoned by Feltman on Monday, Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan was summoned to that country’s foreign ministry for a similar rebuke. Swedish officials told Dagan that they did not understand the timing of the evictions, nor do they accept the legal arguments behind the move. Sweden currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency.

Dagan counterattacked, saying that Israel was “extremely frustrated with Sweden’s conduct” as president of the EU. Israel, he said, has taken steps to make life easier for West Bank Palestinians, while the Palestinians have merely entrenched themselves in their hard-line positions, and the EU has done nothing to help.

The Swedes rejected these claims, noting there is “no difference” between Sweden’s positions on the peace process and Washington’s.

Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak responded by summoning the Swedish ambassador for talks, during which he told her that Jerusalem considers Stockholm’s criticisms of Israel, since assuming the EU presidency, to be excessive.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.