Monday, March 15, 2010

Foxman & ADL confront Obama administration on diplomatic crisis with Israel

Clinton rebukes Israel -Glenn Kessler

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rebuked Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the state of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, demanding that Israel take immediate steps to show it is interested in renewing efforts to achieve a Middle East peace agreement.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley described the nearly 45-minute phone conversation in unusually undiplomatic terms, signaling that the close allies are facing their deepest crisis in two decades...
[Washington Post]

ADL ‘stunned’ by American tone

The Anti-Defamation League expressed dismay at Washington’s “public dressing-down of Israel” over new housing in east Jerusalem.

We are shocked and stunned at the administration’s tone and public dressing-down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem,” ADL’s National Director Abe Foxman [pictured above] said in a statement.

He said Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley was especially harsh when he charged that Israel “undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America’s interests.”

Foxman said the US criticism was “especially troubling” because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had offered clear explanations of the announcement mishap both publicly and privately. “US Vice President Joe Biden accepted the prime minister’s apology,” Foxman said. “Therefore, to raise the issue again in this way is a gross overreaction to a point of policy difference among friends.

We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States,” the statement continued.

One can only wonder how far the US is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table.”
[Jerusalem Post]


Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren has called this situation "the worst crisis in 35 years."

AIPAC called the "escalated rhetoric of recent days" a "distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done," and called on the administration "to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State."

The Washington Post reported, "Relations with Israel have been strained almost since the start of the Obama administration. Now they have plunged to their lowest ebb since the administration of George H.W. Bush."

Obama's Turn Against Israel -Editorial

White House political chief David Axelrod got in his licks on NBC's Meet the Press, lambasting Israel for what he described as "an affront."

It's difficult to see why the Administration has chosen this occasion to spark a full-blown diplomatic crisis with its most reliable Middle Eastern ally.

If the Obama Administration opts to transform itself, as the Europeans have, into another set of lawyers for the Palestinians, it will find Israeli concessions increasingly hard to come by.
(Wall Street Journal)

Leaders Push Back on U.S. Criticism of Israel -Ron Kampeas

U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) described the State Department's tough criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an "irresponsible overreaction" that suggested a pro-Palestinian bias by the administration.

"Where, I ask, was the administration's outrage over the arrest and month-long incarceration by Hamas of a British journalist who was investigating arms smuggling into Gaza?" she asked. "Where was the outrage when the Palestinian Authority this week named a town square after a woman who helped carry out a massive terror attack against Israel? It has been the PA who has refused to participate in talks for over a year, not the government of Israel."

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