May 27th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
5 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. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    90% of the world's problems are caused by over population.
    The remaining 10% are caused by philosophical differences.

    No where is that more evident than in the Holy Land.

    May 27, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    @ Democrats are American Al Qaeda, who said "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. "

    No. Israel was created right where it is because at the time Britain, in all its imperialistic splendor, occupied the area and no European nation wanted the jews or could see their way to giving up an amalgam of small portions of their territories to allow them to stay in Europe and have their own state. So, we figured on giving them the area Britain occupied by force at the time, which just so happened to be just about the worst possible place to stick them unless the entire idea was to keep the region destabilized and fightint amongst themselves for a couple hundred more years. Given the state of Europe, particularly eastern Europe after WWII, I'm willing to bet if we had to do all over again, we might be looking at Israel as a eastern European nation.

    May 27, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Do you people ever think why the US is pro-Israel and why?

    Really think hard?

    Forget all the bible crap, and the only Democracy in the middle east (which discriminates against Palestinians and Christians), can you really find a reason?

    Really, really?

    Neither can I. We got enough trouble in the US to worry about saving a failed state half way acreoss the world. To heck with all of them and all sides.

    May 27, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. The Broker.

    The tale of two cities.. Says a lot about this lady. But what revolution does she live in??

    May 27, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    I'm not pro-Israle, or anti Israel, or pro-Palestinian, or anti-Palestinian, but I am anti one people stealing land from anothers, then killing them, claiming there was a "hamas fighter" amongs 10 dead kids and 12 dead women.

    Bullcrap.

    May 27, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    Netanyahu is a convicted felon and a war criminal.

    May 27, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. James

    Wow. What strange views a lot of posters have here. Obama and H. Clinton are not 'selling out' the Israelis by pursuing a stop to settlement expansion.
    The fact is Israel is economically strangling the Palestinians such that they have nothing to lose by fighting. Cant people realize that by giving Palestinians a cohesive and functioning society to build they will lose their anger and aggressiveness toward Israel. They would have too much to lose.
    How can Israel ever expect to live peacefully with their neighbour if they keep taking more of their land and keep them starving with no hope for a better future. Anyone would end up hating Israel if this was your life and they were responsible for it.

    May 27, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  8. Gabe

    Israel should stop their illegal land grabbing, maybe then they'll get a little more support, but hey, their citizens aren't the ones that are starving. Why should the U.S. support them? What gave them the right to carve up what's left of Palestinian land. Take a look at the map, it looks like a cheese drawing with plenty of holes everywhere.

    May 27, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. B.H.

    It is plain to see that the Israel’s are not really interested in a long term
    agreement with the Palestinians for a two state settlement.

    May 27, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Albo58

    Though Netanyahu is really a hard-liner, I don't blame him for taking a stubborn stance to the current administration! The safety of his country can easily be destroyed by these inept clowns and all for the sake of trying to impress radical governments in the Middle East and the left-leaning groups of Europe! Netanyahu needs to hold on until 2012 when the American taxpayers will speak load and clear!

    May 27, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. lala

    If America starts telling the Israel the truth, they will stop doing what they are doing to the palestinians

    May 27, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Michael

    Lebensraum!

    May 27, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Paul H

    Lobbing bombs into Israel is tolerated, but it's Israel whom this administration is calling down.
    If your going to go after one go after all.

    May 27, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. ANT

    70% of you Israel supporters couldn't find it on a world map.

    May 27, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. ken

    This administration bows and apologizes to every country except the one country that actually has our back in that region. Good job alienating our true friends in hopes of getting closer to our enemies.

    May 27, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. Mike in Oahu

    Until Israel learns to respect the dignity of its' neighbouring civilians the whole mess in the middle-east will continue to go round and round. Former President Carter provided a very honest assessment.

    Look at the misappropriate use of Israeli force used against Lebannon, one of their more moderate neighbors. Israel displaced a milion of their civillians by bombing the crap out of them because four Israeli soldiers were kidnapped at the border by Hamas. What is that all about, and why give them our rockets?

    Israel owns the results of their deeds. Only a fair accounting will ever yield a just result, and that is what Israel in fact does not want.

    May 27, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Reality Counts

    I think that that issue was resolved years ago with Israel forcing Jewish Housing Developments turned over to Palestinians.

    Why can't the Palestinians build their own infrastructure and housing developments?

    Didn't the Palestinians ever hear of family planning?

    Gaza is a WWII mistake.

    May 27, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  18. Tatianna

    Where is Arabs offer to give land to the Palestinian people? The Jordanian monarch have permitted the Palestinians to live ar refugees in their land, but never offered them terriority of their own. Who will decide Israels fate? Everyone except the people of Israel. I find it more and more morbidly curious that everyone in the global community, particularly her mortal enemies, has a say in what Israel must do-except, of course, Israel. Israel must adhere to the wahhabi Islamic peace offering? Everyone secretly knows is a homicide mission, as the global jihad rubs its hands in evil glee.

    May 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    "They were given land that was unsettled." "Then so-called Palestinians (the families living who had lived on this unsettled land for hundreds of years) left on their own..."

    Hard to argue with logic like that.

    Reading this depressing blog it seems certain the situation is hopeless–everyone's mind is made up, leaving war the only future for Israel, and for us, since we must rubber stamp Israel's every action or be labeled "American Al Quaeda" (sic).

    May 27, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. 2young2vote-OR

    Palestinians have rights too. You can't just move in and kick them out of their homes! So what if they conquered them, that just makes those people Isreali people as well and they deserve the same rights as them.

    May 27, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. Tatianna

    Now the Muslim world and Team Obama are demanding that Israel revert back tn the 1967 borders prior to the Six-Day War? Why should Israel be forced to give up land that they gained from a war that they did not initiate.

    May 27, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  22. mark

    Hillary is right on this. The problem in the middle east is that Israel is trying to take the land from the palestinians. This is a good approach to end this conflict. Israel has to stop their conquest.

    May 27, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  23. Anthony

    WHY do we Isreal anything? Im half black half Mexican and you dont hear me complaining about my "reparations, 40 acres and a mule, or the land grab known as California". I've dealt with it and moved on. I am an American, period. You Jews think youre so entitled! And why?? because of a HOLOCOUST???
    We blacks knew SLAVERY and the destruction of entire families too folks... but you dont hear us asking for Mississippi as compensation. Get over yourselves. Your obnoxiousness is why people no longer "pity" your cause...

    May 27, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. We all knew that....

    Obama would give up Israel in the end......but the Jews were stupid enough to vote for him anyway....so they deserve what get which will be Arab rule...

    May 27, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  25. thetruth

    @ shiffit hey wait a minute–will the real sniffit please stand up, and what's up with your name? (please explain, it's kinda cool) and what do you really stand for?.

    May 27, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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