December 28th, 2009
01:09 PM ET
8 months ago

Gibbs condemns Israel construction in East Jerusalem

(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued the following statement on reports Israel says it will build nearly 700 housing units in East Jerusalem, despite continued American opposition.

"The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved by the parties through negotiations and supported by the international community. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations. Rather, both parties should return to negotiations without preconditions as soon as possible. The United States recognizes that Jerusalem is a deeply important issue for Israelis and Palestinians, and for Jews, Muslims, and Christians. We believe that through good faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome that realizes the aspirations of both parties for Jerusalem, and safeguards its status for people around the world."

Filed under: Robert Gibbs
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Steve, New York City

    This is exactly the kind of behavior that the global community does not understand . . .and nothing ever seems to be done about it.

    December 28, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Why?

    This is ancient historic Jewish Land, predating the founding of islam by thousands of years.

    Wake up America, especially those of the Jewish faith in America...the democrats are NO friends to our friends in Israel.

    December 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. TCM

    Gibbs is an idiot of the highest caliber; why put any weight on anything that stuttering boob says...I mean, what could he possibly understand about "good faith,' when he's working for and with the slimiest administration in the history of this country?

    December 28, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Gregg L

    "good faith negotiations" – like the Missiles continually being launched from Gaza at innocent Civilians in Sderot, the murder of Rabbi Meir Chai in the West Bank, etc.?

    December 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Bill K NY

    "Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations." Unless the topic is health insurance reform and the administration is dealing with American Citizens or congressional Republicans. Then they act unilaterally pre-empting negotiations. I never heard an Israli politician say "We won, we can do whatever we want."

    December 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. Carole

    Watch out LIEberman don't want such talk. Then again, he only seems to stay on Faux News alot now. When is he going to do Anderson Cooper or Larry King. We know we won't see LIEberman on Keith Oberman or Rachel Maddow.

    I am not shocked at this.

    December 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Tristan

    Jerusalem should be declared a no-religion zone. Superstition is the bane of intelligent life.

    December 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Warren Thurston

    Why should they refrain from building new settlements. It is their God giving land.
    Robert Gibbs and others in the Administration should stay out of Israel's affairs concerning infrastructure.

    The land was their's and they fought for it after it was stolen from them by the world.

    Build all you want to Israel, more American's support your country than you realize.

    December 28, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Another weak Washington Response

    Another "condemnation" by Washington. Wow, I am sure settlement construction came to an immediate halt..... NOT!

    This is another tepid diplomatic response by Washington for public consumption only. This will do nothing, This has done nothing in the past, and it will do accomplish nothing in the future. Until the US "breaks off" support from Israel in a public way; cuts off all aid; and stops sending them military arms, the settlement construction will continue, and the Mideast hatred for the US will continue to grow and that region of the globe will continue to be trouble.

    Israel is NOT a good ally for the US. Were they fighting with us in Kuwait? No Were they with us in Desert Storm with troops? No! Are they in Iraq? No! Are they with us in Afghanistan? No! Their mere presence fighting with us anywhere in the MidEast would set off a firestorm. This is NOT the sort of ally the US needs or wants..

    December 28, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. felicia

    Please these people so mad President Obama is the President. I wouldn't be surprised if the right had sonmething to do with this, they want President Obama to fail so bad they're wishing for a terrorist attack on the country. What a bunch of sick people.

    December 28, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. Larry

    Instead of playing the victim all the time the Israelis need to start honoring pacts and agreements they signed themselves concerning no more expansion in the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

    December 28, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. daveF

    Sect. Gibbs & the majority of the People have no idea what East Jeruselem means to both sides. To enlighten those, the Al Aqsa Mosque & the Western Wall are in such close proximity that they are inseparable. To give East jersusalem to the Arabs means that the Jews will have to give up their most Holy Site to the Capitol of a New State. IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!!! Another fact is prior to 1967 the Israelis were not allowed in East Jeruselem to pray at the Wall by Jordan who controlled the area. After the six day War everyone was allowed in East Jerusalem to pray at their holy sites (after the Arabs destroyed every Jewish Temple). Also remember that the site of the Mosque is Holy to both sides, not just the Arabs. There is much history in Israel and to deny one side or the other to the various sites will remain a the major stumbling block to peace. One other thought – If the Arabs gave up their weapons what woul there be – answer: PEACE! If the Israelis gave up their weapons what would there be – answer: NO ISRAEL!

    December 28, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Dan

    Yeh yeh, sure Israel is the bad guys now.... and airplane terrorists go by different names now as well... what a reverse-world this administration lives in!!!!

    December 28, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Another example of the Obama White House siding against an ally. Israel is a free and democratic nation. Why would the USA not want freedom and democracy to spread? Literally; Israel should be spreading in every direction because we in the USA should encourage 'the spread of freedom and democracy'. Simple as that. Once the Palestinians renounce terrorism then, and only then, will their voice be heard.

    The Obama Team is dilusional if they truly think that 'good faith negotiations' are possible with a group of people who venerate Yasser Arafat. Obama must have been sleeping through the Carter years because anybody who witnessed his 4 years in office would never mistake the Palestinians as 'good faith negotiators'.

    December 28, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. mjm

    If Gibbs really wanted to stop the Israelis from constructing new homes he could send them Barney Frank, Freddie and Fannie.

    That seemed to kill the housing market here.

    December 28, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and other terrorist groups and rouge states know that this administration is impotent.

    Israel knows this as well.

    December 28, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. Israel is not interested in Peace

    Now lets just say that Palestinians took over that same piece of land and started to build homes on it. What do you think the USA reaction would be? What do you think our friend Israel would have done?

    However much complicated this situation is, its obvious Israel is benefiting from the comflict. As long as there will always be a reason for Israel to bomb Palestine and keep them in the dark age, Israel will continue to prosper, develop and be even more of a bullie. Thanks to the USA for supporting their cause.

    Gibbs and anyone else can come up with condemnations as it has always been the case government after government... the bottom line is USA supports what Israel is doing and hence no future for poor Palestinian Kids.

    December 28, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. KiloWhiskey

    Gee too bad....if America can't get its own act together why in the world should Israel listen to them. As far as the land goes – that's what happens when you lose the war you started: you lose land. Here's a hint – next time guys, win.

    December 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. southerncousin

    Given the destruction of the United States economy and health care system wrought by the Obama administration, I hardly think they have the right to criticize any choices Israel may make. Before you know it, they will end up sending HIllary to apologize for the Bush administration. That is how utterly stupid and inept this administration is in everything they do. The biggest bunch of losers since the Carter administration.

    December 28, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Adelberto

    Why should Israel negotiate with someone who doesn't even recognize their right to exist? Neither Robt Gibbs or the international community needs to be telling Israel what they can or cannot do on their own soil. If he'll just read his history, Gibbs will find out the the palestinians do not want peace. They only want the Jews out of the territory. Doesn't this sound just like the obama administration policies with Christians? They'd like to see all Christians muzzled or just be rid of. Well that is not going in either case.

    December 28, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. anyone but arnold

    so is this Gibbs' opinion? or is it the White House's opinion? in what capacity was Gibbs speaking? because i could give a flying flip what Robert Gibbs thinks, CNN.

    December 28, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Kwame

    The US should stop sending our tax dollars to support a regime like Israel. We obviously don't like what they are doing but we keep sending them money and weapons to use against the Palestines. We give them money and guns through one hand, and gently tap the other hand when they turn around and use the guns on Palestinians.

    CNN, please publish my comments!!.

    December 28, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Tektite in Houston

    Opposition is not condemnation. Get your reporter to wake up. Neither opposition nor condemnation has ever made any difference in the way the US government deals with Israel, nor will it in the future. The Zionist Israelis control our policies in the Middle East through lobbying; espionage; allowing US military depots and ports in Israel; ouright ownership and editorial control of many of the international news media; and a very efficient network of jewish organizations that can rapidly mount enormous political pressure on US elected officials. Now that Mr. Gibbs has expressed the White House lip service to international outrage at Israel's behavior, the US will go ahead and instantly approve future financial gifts and military assistance to Israel making a farce of all those public statements regarding our opposition to territorial annexation and oppression of the Palestinians.

    December 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. JP

    For too long , the United States has been a puppet for the Israel government.we have to stop allowing AIPAC to direct our public policy regarding the Palestinians. Why do we borrow money from China to give to Israel to build illegal settlements on stolen land. How many people including U.S. soldiers have been killed because the terrorists have used are our blind support of Isreal as a recruitment tool. Obama show some balls for once and demend a settlement and withdrawl from stolen land.

    December 28, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. TK Tummala

    On the Settlements issue, Isreal is adament. It is only U.S. that could
    apply some pressure, effectively, later.

    December 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
1 2