After nearly two weeks worth of diplomatic tension, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told a room packed with thousands of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) delegates that the U.S.-Israel bond is “rock solid” and that “it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed.” No contradiction, no tension — the U.S.-Israel bond is “a personal commitment that will never waiver,” Clinton added, and that bond, she said, obligates the U.S. to nudge Israel toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“For President Obama and for me and for this entire administration,” Clinton said, “our commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock-solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.” It’s a value-driven relationship “for a future of peace, security and prosperity.”
Before Clinton spoke, AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr set out AIPAC’s effective diplomatic position, rejecting the “reductionist view” that the U.S.-Israel relationship depends on the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kohr urged “differences” to be resolved “in private,” and focused comparatively more emphasis on “the challenge to Israel’s very existence posed by Iran.” (He added for good measure, “Finally, Jerusalem is not a settlement.”)
Clinton brought the packed house at the Washington Convention Center to its feet for the first time during her speech when she referenced Iran by saying, “we know that the forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States of America.”