A recap: Vice President Biden flies to Israel this week and gets hit with word that Israel will expand settlements into Arab areas of Jerusalem. It’s widely seen as an insult.
This afternoon, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley let it be known that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say she views the move as a breach of faith:
Secretary Clinton also spoke this morning with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to reiterate the United States’ strong objections to Tuesday’s announcement, not just in terms of timing, but also in its substance; to make clear that the United States considers the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship – and counter to the spirit of the Vice President’s trip; and to reinforce that this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America’s interests. The Secretary said she could not understand how this happened, particularly in light of the United States’ strong commitment to Israel’s security. And she made clear that the Israeli Government needed to demonstrate not just through words but through specific actions that they are committed to this relationship and to the peace process.
That’s far harsher language than the Obama administration has been using to the Israelis lately. Clinton is headlining the AIPAC conference later this month. We’ll see if she uses the same sort of candor.
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