Earlier this week, Israel tragically lost its final founding father, Shimon Peres. Countless world leaders went to Israel for his funeral, to celebrate a man who has truly left his mark on history. Peres has worked with every president since JFK, so it is fitting that President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton were in attendance at his funeral, and both delivered eulogies at the ceremony. Obama even lowered the flag in front on the White House to half-staff.
All of this is deserved for Peres, a man who could easily be likened to Israel’s George Washington. Imagine for a second that someone told you that Washington’s burial place is not in America. That would be absolutely ludicrous! Washington is obviously buried at Mount Vernon. There is an empty crypt in the US Capitol that was meant for his body, but now lies empty precisely because Washington wanted to be buried at home.
It goes without saying that I was astonished when I saw a report that the White House does not believe that Peres is buried in Israel. Peres’s grave is at Har Herzl, named after the founder of modern Zionism. Har Herzl is located in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Har Herzl is the final resting place for many of Israel’s heroes, but the Obama administration somehow does not recognize that it is located within Israel. Even for those who distinguish between West and East Jerusalem, there is no doubting that Har Herzl is squarely within any territory that is indisputably Israeli.
All of this notwithstanding, the White House sent out a corrected press release that simply crossed Israel out, as The Weekly Standard points out.
However, I did a little more research and saw that the press release that the White House sent out announcing the delegation to the funeral did not even mention the words “Jerusalem” or “Har Herzl.” The press release is completely misleading and would make any reader think that the funeral was being held in Tel Aviv:
President Barack Obama today announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to the State of Israel to attend the State Funeral of Former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Why did the Obama administration remove name of the country that Peres helped found?