Israel’s Foreign Minister Doesn’t Get Anywhere With Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood her ground and perhaps surprised many of her far left critics on Wednesday when she told Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to stop expanding their settlements.
Lieberman, who was visiting the US for the first time since assuming his new post, was refuted by Clinton after he told her that Israel wished to continue growing their settlements on the West Bank. “Well, as President Obama, Senator Mitchell and I have said, we want to see a stop to the settlements,” Clinton responded without hesitation.
Earlier in the conversation Lieberman had signaled to Clinton that the previous Bush Administration and Israel had an “understanding” that expanding the settlements would continue. Clinton’s response to him was reminiscent of her statement last month when she said that President Obama would not support further expansion.
“[President Obama] wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions,” Clinton has said. “Settlement activity, both actions and announcements, is damaging for the atmosphere of negotiations. And the party’s actions should be encouraging confidence, not undermining it. And no party should take steps that could prejudice the outcome of negotiations.”
The new stance that the Obama administration has taken towards Israel’s nationalistic plans has been repudiated by right-wing Israeli organizations. A released on Wednesday by the Zionist Organization of American stated that:
“President Obama’s policies are not good for Israel…51 percent of Israelis believed that Obama cares more about Palestinian desires for statehood than Israel’s security, as opposed to only 22 percent who believe the opposite.”
The Obama administration has indeed emphasized that they fully support the creation of a Palestenian state and that any new Israeli construction on the West Bank can become counter-productive to the peace process.
“We think that is an important and essential part of pursuing the efforts leading to a comprehensive peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state next to a Israeli-Jewish state that is secure in its borders and future,” Clinton told Lieberman.