'Obama doesn't understand the Middle East'

Knesset speaker blasts changes in Democratic platform, Meretz MK blames Netanyahu

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The fallout from the news that the 2012 Democratic party platform refuses to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital continued on Wednesday, with figures from across the Israeli political spectrum weighing in.

In particular, Knesset speaker Reuvan Rivlin called the news "more worrying than the argument over Iran. The change may have far-reaching consequences." He also said that Obama seemed not to understand the conditions of the Middle East, in which "A united Jerusalem will help bring peace and stability."

Jerusalem's mayor, Nir Barkat, was dismissive of the Democrat's position, saying "The fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel is not a subject for debate, and its status is not affected by foreign political platforms or elections."

Far-Right MK Uri Ariel was far less sanguine on the subject and said that "finally, Obama's true face is revealed."

MK Zahava Gal-On, of the Leftist Meretz party, also denounced the lack of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but blamed the problem partially on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We’re paying a heavy price for the government’s rejectionist policy," she said, "and that’s the real problem."

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