May 27th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton calls for halt to Israel's settlement activity

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Israel should halt its settlement activity.

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that Israel should halt its settlement activity.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On the eve of President Obama's meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the Obama administration wants a complete halt to settlement activity by Israel, which she argued would help Washington's Mideast peace efforts.

"We think it is in the best interest of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease," she said following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit.

Clinton spoke hours before having dinner with Abbas, who will meet with President Obama at the White House Thursday.

Last week President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, where he pressed him to commit to the creation of a Palestinian state and halt settlement activity to create a better atmosphere for peace talks.

Netanyahu has committed to removing illegal settlement "outposts," but has pledged to continue expansion, or "natural growth"of existing settlements.

"The president was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here, he wants to see a stop to settlements," Clinton said. "Not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. That is our position that is what we have communicated very clearly not only to the Israeli's but to the Palestinians and others, and we intend to press that point."

During her meeting with her Egytpian counterpart, Clinton reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, calling Egypt and integral partner in the Obama administration's mideast peace efforts.

The body language between Clinton and Aboul Gheit was much more relaxed than with her predecessor Condoleezza Rice, with whom the minister had a tense relationship.

The Bush administration alienated Egypt by making human rights and democracy in the Middle East a cornerstone of it's foreign policy.

Aboul Gheit, who wrapped up two days of meetings in Washington, said the Obama administration is "very different from the Bush administration"and less "rhetorical" in its approach to dealing with Cairo.

"They are disucssing issues but they also listen, and that is very important to listen and understand where you come from and understand the reason," he said.

President Obama is traveling to Cairo next week, where he will give a major address to the Arab and Muslim world.

"We are full of expetations for the presdient's visit," Aboul Gheit said.

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Tom L

    So please do tell me ONE concession that the Palestinians have given. Name one. Just one thing. However, Israel has left the Gaza strip and what happened? Hamas violently took it over and are shooting rockets every day. The anti-Semitism is palpalble and astounding. Israel has been a steadfast and loyal friend to the United States. On 9/11, what did the Palestinians do? They handed out candy to children in celebration. Wake up and recognize who truly hates and wants to eliminate the United States...

    May 27, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  2. Reformed Republican

    The bleeting Palastinians are just like the bleeting Republicans...
    They both lost but can't get over it.
    The White House belongs to the Dems and Jerusalem belongs to the Israeli's. Both were won fair and square so suicide bombers and fear mongering "base" neocons won't change anything...

    May 27, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Democrats are American Al Quaeda.

    "There should be one state, a democracy, with full voting rights for the Palestinians as well as the Israelis.
    And let the Palestinians vote 'em out of office.
    Settlement issue over, roadlblocks gone."

    Except that Hamas has in its charter the destruction of all Israel and all Israelis. Your solution would be another Final Solution.

    There you go now, that's a good little Nazi.....

    May 27, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Mitch



    You will have no more Jewish Votes in 2012. For Sure.

    No more Votes or Funds for Democrats, Obama, Hillary and their Palestinian Supporters.

    May 27, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    I support a two state solution.

    Give the palestinians California and Massachusetts.

    May 27, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Democrats are American Al Quaeda.

    "What do we owe Israel?"

    We owe them in that they are our ally. I'm glad I'm not a friend of your because you would stand by and watch me get stabbed on the street and say, "You probably deserved it."

    "Monster we created."

    Dude, you claim you aren't an anti-semite, but you sure sound like it. Israel was created because FDr and the world sat by and watched the Nazis throw Jews into crematories like they were cordwood. They were given land that was unsettled. The so-called Palestinians left on their own because they were told that the Israelis would be destroyed. The Arabs were allied with the Nazis.

    The land that is occupied is land Israel took from the Arabs during a war that the Israelis did not start. Tough crap for the Arabs. You start a war and you lose, you get what you get.

    May 27, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So Bust tried to tell the Arabs what to do, and now Obama is trying to tell the Jews what to do. Anyone think it will work any better?

    May 27, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Tulsa

    Pitiful people, just pitiful.
    You really do turn my stomach. It's not a good feeling to know that there are about 70million people in this Nation that are so driven by hate and riddled with ignorance.
    Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of Americans know right from wrong. They showed it in November and that is encouraging.

    May 27, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. S Melanson

    Tom L, The event you are referring to – handing out candy and celebrating is certainly an event that took place and captured in pictures, the picture(s) used however pre-dates 9/11 by several years.

    No one questioned this in the media and took it as celebration of 9/11 – actually, Palestinions were largely upset as they knew the terrorist attack was more likely to harden US policy.

    May 27, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Tulsa

    You idiotic Republicans know that "W" said NO to settlements too, right?
    So why the double standard?
    Just because?
    Oh my, how grown up of you.

    May 27, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Willy Brown

    Hillary you are a PHONEY!

    May 27, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. steve

    I am jewish and I support a two state solution just like most American jews. Israel and Palestinians both need to be pushed. They are like spoilt children. We give billions of dollars away to Israel every year yet they never listen to our good advise. Israel way did not bring peace in the middle east for 61 years.

    May 27, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. doc

    gee, i thought billary had died, too bad

    May 27, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. Sami Hammoud

    Tom L, you asked what have the Palesinians given up for the sake of peace. How bout the land that Israel has a state over? Their acceptance of 1967 borders means that they have given up plenty. There is no need for anymore concessions on their behalf. Go read then comment.

    May 27, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Tom L

    Very well said. You start a war, you better be prepared for the consequences of your actions. I have a quick question, if the Arab world is so concerned about their Palestinian brothers, why not just give them some of their land? Saudi Arabia, Syria...these countries have lots of land...

    May 27, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. rachel

    Good Israel does need to stop expanding. Israel is the untied states biggest welfare project.

    May 27, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    @ Tom L, who said "Didn't realize you were an anti-Semite as well as ignorant. Every single day the Hamas lobs rockets indiscrimantly into Israel. How is that self defense?"

    Look up some figures so you can see how many people ACTUALLY get hurt by those rockets and then compare it to the massive intrusions into the areas remaining to the palestinian people, the sheer number of civilians killed by the Israeli army, the reports from Israeli soldiers that they were ordered to kill civilians indiscriminantly (hushed by the MSM of course), the fact that Israel will not let palestinians living in Israel vote and the deplorable, city-prison like conditions Israel forces upon these people while they continue to push the boundary into their lands by claiming that they simply have the right to do so...then come back to me and tell me lobbing vastly ineffective rockets, when it's the only thing you've got, isn't self-defense.

    May 27, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. Hassan

    Whoever says Israel was attacked in 1967 and thus has a right to the land is an idiot.

    Israel attacked first, in what THEY called a preemptive strike, but matter of fact is, they attacked first, hence are the aggressor.
    Let's not forget that this Israeli attack followed the Israeli attack against Egypt in 1956. If you read history books you'll learn that Egypt was in diplomatic discussions with the US to solve the crisis diplomatically when Israel attacked.

    Arab states attacked twice : 1948, 1973
    Israel attacked twice : 1956, 1967 (and I'm not counting 1982 to be nice)

    May 27, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Fnord-a-saurus Rex

    Here is a reason we should NOT support Isreal. . .

    Their refusal to obey the Nuclear Non prolfieration act.

    Call me what you want, but it dosent change the truth about how the Isrealies keep the Palestinians in an open air prison. I have no problems with people of Jewish decent, I do take offense to a political enity oppressing another group.
    We said that Hammas was not a legitmate government, then they got ELECTED by the people. So I guess we have to treat them as the governing body of palestine now. Why is there so much hate for Palestine in the US?
    Why do people refuse to accept the truth? We help a terrorist nation by providing them with weopons and money. Plain and simple.

    Anyone who refuses to stand up for the liberty and freedom of all people does not have so called American Values.

    May 27, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    @ phoenix86, who said "Give the palestinians California and Massachusetts."

    Only if we can give Texas to Mexico and South Carolina to Puerto Rico.

    May 27, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. Mark-Atlanta

    There are hundreds of thousands of people in Israel who are against of illegal expansion of Jewish settlements in the West bank. Are those Jews anti-Semites as well? Hillary deserves respect for unusual move to put US interests first and for recognizing that what extreme right wing in Israel does is not even the best for Israel itself. Again, supporting moderate Israelis in their quest for just peace is not anti-Semitism. Indeed!

    May 27, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. JJ

    If I could take back my vote, I would.

    May 27, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. Eric

    New Yorker, keep reading the Bible. Don't forget not to approach a woman who has her periods, like your Bible says. Don't forget either to cut your hand if it does something bad, like the Bible says. It will prevent us from reading those stupidities of yours. Thank you.

    May 27, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  24. Kenneth Villa

    I can't believe the amount of people who don't know the history. It was Great Britain that started this problem by putting Jewish settlements in Palestine, who by the way, had NOTHING to do with the German's decision to persecute the Jews.

    Wars have been won after as a result of that initial decision that led to Israel accumulating more land basically until the Palestinians themselves had zilch.

    Regardless of what you believe, this issue is the most vital to accomplish and if there is going to be a climate of peace, then it has to start with Israel halting expansion because if you don't, then you basically are saying, to hell with it Palestinians, live with what you got which is barely anything at all.

    If we accomplish this, we AND ISRAEL will help our standing in the middle east.

    May 27, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  25. Eric

    For all those idiots out there, and I can see there are plenty, to stop settlements is not a concession. You are talking about stopping an illegal activity. Can you at least know your facts a bit before throwing your nonsense on the computer.

    May 27, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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