News / Middle East

    New Israeli Settlements Set Back Peace, Clinton Says

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nov. 29, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nov. 29, 2012, at the State Department in Washington.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Israeli plans for new settlements near East Jerusalem do not help efforts to bring about a two-state solution to the Palestinian crisis.

    Clinton told Israeli officials in Washington that plans for new settlements abutting East Jerusalem "set back the cause of a negotiated peace."

    "We all need to work together to find a path forward in negotiations that can finally deliver on a two-state solution. That must remain our goal," Clinton said.  

    Friday's announcement of 3,000 new homes on Israeli-occupied land is especially contentious as building in the area near East Jerusalem known as E1 could obstruct the ultimate creation of a contiguous Palestinian state because it cuts through the West Bank.

    In remarks at a Washington foreign policy forum, Clinton spoke warmly of the longstanding alliance between the United States and Israel and Washington's objection to this week's move by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to increase his group's status at the United Nations to that of a non-member observer state.

    "President Abbas took a step in the wrong direction this week," Clinton said. "We opposed his resolution. But we also need to see that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank still offers the most compelling alternative to rockets and permanent resistance."

    She says Palestinian Authority leaders deserve credit for real achievements on the ground -- making their streets safe, overhauling governing institutions and cooperating with Israel to help enhance Israeli security.  

    "At a time when religious extremists claim to offer rewards in the hereafter, Israel needs to help those committed to peace deliver for their people in the here and now," Clinton said.

    When Israeli and Palestinian leaders are ready to return to direct negotiations, Secretary Clinton says President Barack Obama will be a full partner.

    She says the United States stand ready to help Israel make more permanent its cease-fire with Hamas forces in Gaza. But that requires the continued cooperation of the new Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.  

    "We look to Egypt to intensify its efforts to crack down on weapons smuggling from Libya and Sudan into Gaza," Clinton said. "I am convinced that if more rockets are allowed to enter Gaza through the tunnels, that will certainly pave the way for more fighting again soon."

    President Obama made little progress in Israeli-Palestinian talks in his first term. The last high-profile U.S. effort at a negotiated settlement came from former U.S. President George W. Bush who brought the two sides together in a process aimed at a peace treaty by the end of 2008.

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    by: new_york_loner from: new york
    December 02, 2012 7:08 PM
    This is not the Voice of America, this is the voice of Occupied America...the VOA is Occupied Israeli Territory.

    I submitted a post this morning that did not make it past the censors...I observed the terms of service, but my criticism of Israel and the special relationship was deemed to be verboten.

    I stuck my neck out for 2 years in the US Army during wartime...to see the Voice of America become another pro-Israel-biased US media organ is extremely disappointing.

    Time to pull the Congressional funding of this tainted rag. Raus!

    by: NVO from: USA
    December 02, 2012 12:55 PM
    Clinton, you claim to be Christain, but want to divide Jerusalem!!

    Often on the news we hear the terms "occupied territories", "1967 borders", and "illegal settlements". And the story we usually hear sounds very simple... During the six day war, Israel captured the West Bank from the Palestinians, refused the UN demand to retreat, and illegally built settlements, but is that really the case? Let's start with a simple but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT question: From whom did Israel capture the West Bank? From the Palestinians? NO! In 1967 there was NO Arab nation or state by the name of Palestine. Actually was there ever? So, who's territory is it? Until 1917 the Ottoman Empire occupied the whole region. After losing in WW1 the Ottomans relinquished their 500 year control to the allied forces which decided to divide the old empire into countries. Britain recognized the Jews historical right to their homeland. A small area equivalent to about half of 1% of the Middle East was designated for this purpose. However, do you realize what happened? The Jewish homeland not only included the West Bank, but also the East Bank of the Jordan River. I suppose you cannot say that the Jewish people have not accepted some painful compromises, already. With the British Mandate ending, UN general assembly resolution #181, recommended the establishment of two states; one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accepted it and went on to create the nation of Israel in 1948. While the Arabs refused a compromise and launched a war to destroy the newly established nation. At the end of the war, a cease fire line was formed, (armistice line, 1949), and both sides stopped fighting. At the insistence of the Arab leaders, this line was defined as having NO political significance. So, although this line is commonly referred to as the "1967 border", it is NOT from 1967, and it was never an international border. Israel's presence in the West Bank is the result of self defense. The West Bank should not be considered "occupied", because there was no previous legal sovereign in the area. And therefore, the real definition should be "disputed" territory. The 1947 partition plan has no current legal standing, while Israel's claim to the land was clearly recognized by the international community during the 20th century.That is why the presence of Israeli settlements and construction in the West Bank should NOT be considered illegal. So what is the solution to the dispute over the West Bank? Fortunately the solution lies in God's Word, and His unbreakable covenants and promises to his chosen people. Any negotiations must be based on legal and historical FACTS. So stop using the so-called terms "illegal" and "occupied" territories," and "1967 borders". They are simply not politically correct or in agreement with Gods Word.

    by: PJW5552 from: Lexington, KY
    December 02, 2012 7:34 AM
    Well, when actions lack consequences for Israel, this is what we get -- more actions that hinder peace. Let's see Clinton tell Israel the US is going to withhold its foreign aid and give it to the Palestinians when they refuse to give the Palestinians "their tax money". Let's see Clinton tell Netanyahu, fine, build in the West Bank and the US will impose sanctions on Israel, restrict trade and hold them accountable for violation of multiple UN resolutions . When the rules of justice and equality are null and void when it comes to Israel, you only get more of the same nonsense. End it or simply walk away from Israel and let them fend for themselves.

    by: Chagrined from: USA
    December 02, 2012 3:56 AM
    Israel ignores international law and continues it pernicious, abhorrent, vile, evil abuse of the Palestinians. Netanyahu is the son of a Polish immigrant to Israel.
    Ariel Sharon placed illegal Jewish settlers on Gaza, then demanded $2.2 billion American tax dollars to remove them before the 'war crime" Operation Cast Lead was launched during which time Israel brutally murdered over 1400 Palestinians.

    Netanyahu demanded incentives to freeze settlement construction on Palestinian land with the exception of East Jerusalem, fighter jets worth $3 billion and the U.S. to block any moves in the United Nations Security Council that would try to shape a final peace agreement.
    Israel is synonymous with bribes and bad behavior and there are consequence to bad behavior.

    Europeans killed Jews and were responsible for the Holocaust, not the Palestinians! European Jewish refugees went to Palestine, took homes and land that belong to the Palestinians making the Palestinians refugees. So Jews are to the Palestinians what Hitler was to them? Are Jews any less evil? Jews owned 7% of Palestine at this time. The oppressed are now the oppressors!

    It is time to charge Israel and those feckless members of congress who are complicit with 'war crimes."


    by: Noah Olatunde from: Lagos,Nigeria
    December 02, 2012 3:18 AM
    it is high time UN takes drastic measures against israel over their alterances across middle-east.am confident that the Israel/palestines crisis was engineered by United States of America

    by: f. gomez from: miami florida
    December 02, 2012 1:26 AM
    Interesting reading all your comments,what i see is that God told Abraham "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you"Mrs Clinton be carefull on you comments about Israel.The jews are Gods people and even though it seems everyone is coming against them they will be victorius,God has their back.
    In Response

    by: Andrew from: UK
    December 03, 2012 7:25 AM
    The chosen are the jews, not Israel. And there are many arab jews, who is to say they are not gods chosen and the Israeli jews not, I suspect that God will being down a reign of terror on Israel for everything they have done in his name, how dare they say God would applaud killing innocents for land gains. This is the last straw for many, and Israel is courting with total annihilation in the Middle East. The world is a changed place and does not listen to there propaganda any more, we have become aware of the nasty tricks they play and do not support it.
    In Response

    by: PJW5552 from: Lexington, KY
    December 02, 2012 10:52 AM
    More nonsense and beliefs in place of truth or reality. Even God would not tolerate the insane belief that life is ALWAYS about "me first". Apparently you feel that way regardless of reality. Good luck ever making any progress in the forward direction.

    by: Bill from: Ohio
    December 02, 2012 12:42 AM
    Clinton says new Israli settlements set back peace. You know what else sets back peace? Isolating Israel as they're doing right now. It's none of your business, Hillary. Retire already.

    by: Jahbulon
    December 02, 2012 12:21 AM
    This is just a pure double talk. This type of illusionism has never and will never bring peace anywhere in the world. How can you even listen to the people who have threatened Palestine for legally asked the UN to recognize with economic sanctions. We've heard of rogue states over and over. But which one is a rogue state? Israel that has been slaughtering Palestinians for decades and occupying their lands or the victims that turn to the UN to ask for colonization of their homeland to stop?

    This is what they got:

    1 - The US voting to maintain them in the Israeli's gulag
    2 - Canada voting to maintain them in the Israeli's gulag
    3 - The Czech republic voting to maintain them in the Israeli's gulag
    4 - Israel deciding to accelerate their repression
    5 - The US considering economic sanctions against Palestine for daring to cry for help!!
    6 - Canada considering economic sanctions against Palestine for daring to cry for help!!

    This is the world upside down my friends. I don't understand the logic behind it and this lady is just an illusionist.

    138 countries at the UN said enough to barbarism and 3 countries replied that barbarism was acceptable if it was from a close friend!!!

    by: John Hubers
    December 01, 2012 11:51 PM
    It really doesn't matter what Clinton says. Israel knows how hollow these words are. American never backs up their censure with action. Might as well not say anything at all.
    In Response

    by: Andrew from: UK
    December 03, 2012 7:29 AM
    The problem for Israel is that Obama can very easily stop supporting them, he can call them out on there hypocrisy, they did everything in there power to get him out of power and failed, now is the time for him to pay them back and to start looking for peace in the middle east. Set the borders and send in American troops to keep the peace. And set the borders as they were before Israel started stealing land, give all those nice buildings and infrastructure to Palastine.
    In Response

    by: vinnie gambini from: ny
    December 03, 2012 1:27 AM
    Israel can only depend on Gd.
    Always has, always will.
    Gd bless Israel & those that defend her.

    by: Joe Macke
    December 01, 2012 6:12 PM
    "We all need to work together to find a path forward in negotiations that can finally deliver on a two-state solution. That must remain our goal," Clinton said.

    We, the UN and the especially the Clinton, Rice, Powers and Obama influence in the security council , NEED TO STOP MEDDLING in the mid-east affairs that are 'moving forward' the the aims of the Muslim Brotherhood in that area of the world. Egypt, Libya and now ready to join the MB 'rebel fighters' are ready to topple Syria. and probably Jordan thereafte 1
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