The White House amended the transcript of Obama’s eulogy of Shimon Peres, crossing “Israel” out with a line after naming the city of Jerusalem.
The White House rushed Friday to correct a diplomatic blooper after an official transcript listed Jerusalem as part of Israel, contradicting a delicate U.S. policy that takes no position on the city’s status.
The mix-up came in a transcript of President Barack Obama’s eulogy at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. The funeral took place at Mount Herzl, Israel’s national cemetery, in Jerusalem.
The White House press office routinely issues transcripts of Obama’s speeches and includes the location of the speech at the top. A transcript released shortly after the funeral listed the location as “Jerusalem, Israel.” Hours later, while Obama was still flying back from Israel, the White House issued a corrected transcript listing merely “Jerusalem” and with “Israel” crossed out with a line.
The Palestinians claim eastern Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of their future state, but Israel’s government considers a united Jerusalem to be its eternal capital. Mount Herzl, where the funeral took place, is on the western end of the city.
The White House declined to comment on the error, but pointed to a statement reiterating official U.S. policy that Jerusalem’s status should be addressed in a way that respects both Israeli and Palestinian rights.
“We believe that through good-faith direct negotiations, the parties should mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem and safeguards its unique religious status for people around the world,” the statement said.