Last week, the White House cleansed its photo captions of references to Jerusalem being in Israel. The most compelling defense of the Obama administration, offered by Adam Kredo, was that they were only cleansing their website so that they could be consistent with the Bush administration's policy. But Jen Rubin talked with Bush administration official Elliott Abrams, who unequivocally said that Kredo was “just wrong.”
"Basic Google searches are enough to show that Abrams is right and Obama’s defenders are flat wrong," Omri Ceren writes at Commentary. Here's Ceren's explanation for the White House's actions: "The Obama White House is gearing up for a Supreme Court case in which it will defend its refusal to list 'Jerusalem, Israel' on the passports of Americans born in the Israeli capital."
And now, Ceren finds, the State Department is rewriting history:
It gets worse for Obama’s defenders, though, than merely being demonstrably wrong. It turns out that while they were insisting that the Bush administration consistently refused to reference “Jerusalem, Israel,” the Obama State Department was busy scrubbing documents in which Bush administration referenced “Jerusalem, Israel.” Straight down the memory hole. That’s kind of amazing when you pause and think about it, no?
The “Jerusalem, Israel” captions and statements from the Bush-era White House are digitally archived and frozen, and so beyond the administration’s reach. But Bush-era State Department reports are stored on the Obama State Department’s servers. Two old documents in particular – the State Department’s FY 2002 and FY 2003 Performance and Accountability Reports – come up quickly in searches. When they were originally written they both had appendices identifying the location of the Jerusalem consulate as “Jerusalem, Israel.” Some time in the last two weeks that location was changed to “Jerusalem.” Whoever made the changes even went back and scrubbed the old “hard copy” PDFs. You can do the compare and contrast yourself. Click on these links for scrubbed versions of FY 2002 HTML, FY 2003 HTML, FY 2002 PDF, FY 2003 PDF, and on these links for cached original versions of FY 2002 HTML, FY 2003 HTML, FY 2002 PDF, FY 2003 PDF.
Pretty amazing stuff. Sure, the Obama administration's Israel policy aligns perfectly with the Bush administration's policy--but only when this administration rewrites history.