March 16th, 2010
02:07 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton downplays 'crisis' with Israel

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday denied that the relationship between the United States and Israel is in crisis.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday denied that the relationship between the United States and Israel is in crisis.

Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday dismissed the view that relations between the United States and Israel is in crisis after a row between the two countries over settlements.

"Oh I don't buy that," Clinton told reporters at the State Department. "We have an absolute commitment to Israel's security. We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American and Israeli people."

An Israeli official earlier confirmed to CNN that Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, had told his fellow Israeli diplomats that relations between the two countries were "in a crisis."

Clinton said the U.S. had expressed its "dismay and disappointment" after Israel's announcement that it was allowing construction of 1,600 settler housing units in East Jerusalem.


Clinton said that U.S. and Israeli officials are in intense talks "over steps that we think would demonstrate the requisite commitment to this process" and that the U.S. is waiting for a response from Israel on steps it is willing to take. She did not, however, say when or how that response would be conveyed.

"We'll see what the next days hold," she said. "There's just too much at stake for the Palestinians and the Israelis…our goal now is to make sure that we have the full commitment from both our Palestinian and Israeli partners to this effort."

The importance of regaining progress in Arab-Israeli talks was underscored by General David Petraeus who oversees US military operations in the Middle East. While Palestine is not part of Petraeus' area of operation, he told a Congressional committee in his prepared remarks that there has been "insufficient progress" towards peace.

"The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples," Petraeus said in his prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Israel
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. libby

    unbelievable

    March 16, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Ben in Texas

    "We have a close, unshakable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American and Israeli people."

    Sec. Clinton, that is the problem. We've bonded to a country that flaunts international law and common decency with respect to the non-Jewish portion of its population. That bond, which is more between the U.S. and Israeli governments than between their peoples, needs to be broken. We need to treat all countries in the middle east with equal respect and not favor Israel, as we always have. Our policy toward Israel has supported slow genocide of the Palestinians and caused us to be a target for terrorists.

    And incidentally, it is morally wrong.

    March 16, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. stop the nonsense

    Israel- Ally not,our child. They have the right to do thing as they see fit . However we also do not have to back them 100% as we have in the past.
    Next time they ask for support in a crisis in the Middle East- remind them of thier choices and tell them to deal with them on their own.
    If you poke the bully, expect to get punched. Let a black eye serve as a life lessen.

    March 16, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Jerry

    Obama and Clinton are trying so hard to ruin America, did ever notice how they want to talk after the decisions have already been made to save face. Clearly they are self centered fools.

    March 16, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    It IS a crisis because Obama sides with the Palestinians and Terrorists.

    March 16, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Clinton has been a pretty dismal Secretary of State. her criticism of Israel demonstrated her lack of understanding, of the situation in Israel, and of their frustration with 40 yrs. of trying to cater to the US' desire to mediate with the Palestinians.

    The fact the process has been going on, for 40 yrs. should attest to how futile the effort has been.

    March 16, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    Here we go again!!
    One day she says one thing, and indeed those words sounded totally like a crisis. And she was absolutely right. Unless we tell them what to do, and are ready to withdraw all support if they don't, then they will
    continue to play games with us, and we will look even more like clowns.
    Obviously somebody in the white house told her to withdraw (probably
    Emanuel, but in the end it is Obama's fault – he hired him!!)
    This is bad and embarrassing, like most of the lack of strategic and
    operational strategy in the white house.
    The health-care drama has been so incredibly badly managed. It will
    still take 4 years before anything material will happen. The insurance sharks will continue to steal billions from consumers without power
    and any politicians to look after them. Preexisting conditions will continue as always, etc.etc.
    Tens of thousands of people will die as a direct result of this mess.
    While McConnel and company will smile form their safe and expensive insurance plan paid for by the taxpayers.
    Come on Obama, stand up and tell the people the truth. It will all come
    out anyway, and it will cost you your job – as it should.

    March 16, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Mike in NYC

    Pure theater for the deluded masses. Tune in to the upcoming AIPAC confab for some craven homage-paying by whipped American politicos. Like flies on a turd.

    That "close, unshakable bond," along with billions of bucks each year, goes one way.

    March 16, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. jules sand-perkins

    Gen. Petraeus is in a good position to understand the result of our favoritism for Israel.
    I would not advocate abandoning our secure base near the separate Arab countries' oil, but we shouldn't be surprised when Arabs send us visiting terrorists.
    Cars are expensive.

    March 16, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Spirit of America

    Today is the anniversary of the murder of American peace activist, Rachel Corrie, by Israel. A good day to cut off US funds to this apartheid state guilty of war crimes and countless violations of international law.

    March 16, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. rachel

    Israel is a big headache they think no one else deserves to live in the region but them. Your friend and ally U.S. goes to the middle east to try and help you on your behalf and try to keep the big bad arabs fom bombing you over disputed land and while we are there you say awwh what the hell we will build a bunch of houses on land that is in dispute and big part of the problem between us jews and arabs is that cool. With friends like that who needs enemies.

    March 16, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  12. Dano

    So are we saying that any time the US calls out Isreal for breaking its agreements it's a crisis? If that's the case it sounds like they're a pretty bad partner for peace in the Middle East. I suppose they could just forego accepting the billions in American financial aid to show us just how upset they are.

    March 16, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Never allow a crisis to go to waste," Hillary. This is a great reason to dump Israel completely.

    March 16, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The US' condemnation of Israel's illegal settlements is NOT a new policy! It has been the consistent policy of the American government since 1967. Every administration has condemned those land-grabbing settlements, and we have been signatories to the multiple UN resolutions calling for Israel's withdrawal that Israel continues to violate. In fact, Bush Sr. himself was accused of anti-semitism because he consistently followed the same policies. So don't just think this is an Obama/Clinton policy out of thin air. It is a four decade old policy that we always stood by!

    March 16, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. gt

    Israeli is a bully that is out of control... all they are doing is running off there only freind....they will regret this ,,, stop the aid to the new goliath..

    March 16, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Dean

    Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday dismissed the view that relations between the United States and Israel is in crisis after a row between the two countries over settlements.

    Hillary since when do we have the right to tell a country where or where not they can build houses? It is just this kind of butting in other countries business that has gotten us where we are today.

    March 16, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. Blink

    The President doesn't seem that worried about unemployment just anger stirs him on his constant healthcare quest and the Jews builiding 1600 new homes. Israel evacuated the West Bank in 2005 only to have Hamas come in closer to shoot rockets at them so appeasement should be over.

    March 16, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. terry,va.

    Obummie is a Muslim and will side with Muslims. Israel needs to tell Obummie to keep his nose out of their affairs. Israel can take care of themselves.

    March 16, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Bill or Vin from Philly

    It's time to cut the freeloading Israel's off,..... let them go there own way if they don't want to respect our leaders

    March 16, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. STOP BUILDING ISRAEL

    I'm starting to see the arrogance of the Israeli government. They are taking our kindness for weakness. I think our government should cut off any aid that we currently give to Israel. We may be there security ally, but we don't need to be at their becken call. Simply put, Israel is inciting the tensions and frustrations in the Arab community. No wonder why they don't like you so much. I believe in Israel's right to exist, but the Palestinian people need a land of their own as well. I don't see how the Israeli's can claim the "Kingdom of God" solely for themselves when that city is the home of the three dominant religions.

    March 16, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. Monkey wrench

    Even through my disdain for the Clintons, I can see the remorse in her face for our current leadership. She just looks whipped...

    March 16, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. A True Centrist

    Remember during the campaign, all the Obama supporters saying the US will be loved again if we vote him in? All he has done is break campaign promise after campaign promise (more troops in Afghanistan, more backroom deals, more partisan politics, less goodwill with nations abroad, much larger deficit) and has done NOTHING to strengthen our realtionships with either our allies or enemies.

    Are there any world leaders that still support President Obama? Sarko – No, Merkel – No...you get the point.

    March 16, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. OMG

    I repeat "The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples,"

    March 16, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |