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: Jojo Jones from: Mexico
December 01, 2012 5:58 PM
Of course the settlements are a setback to peace, but they wouldn't be there if Israel didn't have US backing. Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition have talked negotiation while taking Palestinian land for 20 years, and worked to insure the Palenstinians do not have access to the UN or the World Court. Both sides claim God, of course, but I have not seen the deeds from either.

In Response

by: Chris from: Los Angeles
December 02, 2012 11:22 AM
Before 1948 Palestine wasn't a country - it was a territory controlled by the British and before that by the Turks. The only ones that called themselves "Palestinians" during those years, were the Jews. The Muslims called themselves Arabs - in Palestine. Again, for those that don't know their history - Palestine was never an autonimous country. They never had their own government, currency, or anything. in 1948 the UN split Palestine into 3 territories one Jewish and two Arab (what is also known as Jordan today - then, transjordan) The Pan National Arabs, who had just gained their freedom from Britain as well, such as Syria, Transjordan etc., decided to attack the newly established Jewish state, and lost - both the war and territory. There was NEVER an Arab "Palestine" you guys don't know your history.

In Response

by: Set271 from: USA
December 02, 2012 12:40 AM
Um...prior to the original UN mandate(1948) wasn't it all Palestine? I believe it's been 60 years since the land was GIVEN to the Israeli's and from day one they've proven the old saying about ungrateful, brats. "Given an inch, they'll covet the entire country!" And don't respond with that old mantra about God giving the land to Israel. If God had given it to them... how did they lose it? Time and time, again.

In Response

by: marc from: Australia
December 01, 2012 7:16 PM
Could not have put it better than you just explained. Why cant every one else see whats going on


by: Anders from: Canada
December 01, 2012 5:53 PM
Do I smell some hypocrisy? Building of every single one of those 3000 houses is going to be financed by the USA.


by: Thom H from: Washington, DC
December 01, 2012 5:48 PM
The settlements have always been a setback for peace. It makes Israel's motivation look like a land grab, not security.

In Response

by: Joe Jones from: Mexico
December 01, 2012 5:59 PM
That's because Netanyahu's motivation IS a land grab, not security.


by: vinnie gambini from: ny
December 01, 2012 5:41 PM
Obama said Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel.....AND
Jerusalem shall remain the individed capital of Israel.
.....here's the you tube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWrvPvo8yXc

Personally, i believe Israel should leave the UN!
There's no point to being a member of an organisation that willfully ignores your well being and safety, and condemns Israel when she defends herself.
THIS NONSENSE MUST END.

Oh- and no, there's not going to be any 1 state, 2 state or anything.
This nonsense is over.
These so called Palestinians derive from Trans-Jordan, it's all in writing, there never was any Palestine, and when you study the history of Trans-Jordan, read T.E.Laurence, the self appointed Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, you can't get away from the facts, that's where these so called Balestinian people are from.

Now, for those who live in the world of 'save the whales and global warming' long long ago, there was a man named Moses.
Long before Jesus, long before Mohammed.
This man is the man who recorded the laws of the Torah as dictated to him by Gd.
Too bad for you if you prefer to believe in global warming and saving the whales while killing the Jews is perfectly fine, but Gd commanded the Jews to settle Israel.
He made no commandment to make room for any so called Palestinian state.

In Response

by: RCMax from: Antioch
December 01, 2012 9:39 PM
"Your ignorance is astounding. The fact is when the jews arrived in Jericcho. there were already people living there. It is also a fact that Israel was already there just called by a different name."

You need to read the bible dude. Yes, when the Jews arrived in Jericcho, after wondering around in the woods for 40 years, they killed everyone there, including women and children. But they did leave one woman alone. She was their spy.

In Response

by: RCMax from: Antioch
December 01, 2012 8:02 PM
The bible that I'm looking at says there was a Palestine. It shows a map of Palestine at the time of Christ. It also says that Israel was overthrown by Sargon II, King of Assyria, in 721 B.C. 27,290 Israelites exiled to Gozan and Media.

King David reigned over Judah 7 years and 6 months, and over Judah and Israel 37 years. During the reign of King David's son, King Solomon, it was a time noted for cultural and economic growth. 10 was in the Tenth Century B.C. I don't think there has been an Israel since. But there has been a Palestine.

And yeah, Mosses. He's the man that can down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments. One of those commandments said, "Thy Shall not KILL!" I never could understand why God gave this Commandment and then turned around and told the Israelites to kill the people of Canaan just to get their land. This whole story sounds like a bunch of B.S. to me, and I don't believe any of it.

I hear the "Radio Republicans" say all the time that there was never a Palestine. What bible are they getting this from? Mine say there was, and shows a map of how it looks.

In Response

by: Marc from: Melbourne
December 01, 2012 6:56 PM
Your ignorance is astounding. The fact is when the jews arrived in Jericcho. there were already people living there. It is also a fact that Israel was already there just called by a different name.

In Response

by: winston from: NY
December 01, 2012 6:47 PM
Yes, we could go back to the precambrian. Imaginary friends (aka religious nonsense) have no place in contemporary political discourse. -At least, not if you want to be taken seriously.
When you talk like that, remember: it is just that tribal mentality that is at the heart of this endless horror, on both sides.

The original plan called for a 2 state solution with each state controlling it's half of Jerusalem. (a place that because if it's significance to all three Abrahamic religions should not be ruled by any tribe (You do know that no two people are more than 50th cousins apart, don't you?)
It should be run by an international collective representing all three faiths.
Sadly, Israel has been involved in a decades long illegal military occupation with a clear pattern of ethnic cleansing. This is not in dispute by any reasonable individual.. Israel has no authority by which to set-up road blocks, impeding the movement of people, build colonies, take over East Jerusalem. Oh, that they could just treat the ARabs for what they are...family.
And still Israel complains about it's need for security. It's absurd. Everyone should obey the law. And Israel should be ashamed for actions like Operation Cast Lead, or the attack on a ship that could have simply been followed into port and then seized,,, it is clear again and again.. that war and militarism furthers it's racist agenda.

It is sad that human beings in general are still at such simple tribal level. This was the basis of a Nazi Germany, same as Rwanda in '94...same as the middle east today. Oy any place one sees division between men. More often than not,, the thing has been manufactured bc afterall, what is more lucrative for the winning side, than war.. But we are setting a very dangerous standard for us, perhaps, one day to be invaded back. Our infrastructure destroyed with the same impunity and arrogance with which we destroyed Iraq's. Let's hope not.

In Response

by: James from: usa
December 01, 2012 6:47 PM
Rubbish,you wrote the book and TIME will prove that your religion is nothing more than old Jewish folk tales..


by: James Kim from: New Jersey, USA
December 01, 2012 5:39 PM
US has just said to israel "Not to this and that..." with no action on Israel's violations. That's why Israel does not care Unites States. Purnish it and then prevent 2nd 911.

In Response

by: jeff fine from: California, USA
December 01, 2012 6:45 PM
As a soverign nation Israel needs to do what it thinks is best. As a soverign nation the US needs to do what it thinks is best. Sometimes nations disagree. The problem as I see it is that Israel want the US to support it in all ways and certainly with money. But for us to continue to do this, we must see this as in our interest also. Israel keeps testing this limit yet suggests we should never deviate from anything other than unqualified support. Why is Israel free to act in its own interest but America is not. It is not in American's interest to support Israel uncritically. all the time and without consideration to our own interests. Perhpas it is not in our interest to go to war with Iran. Perhaps it is not in our interest to support Israel attacking Iran. Poking your ally in the eye may not be the best policy. Allies understand this and usually try to accomodate the interests of the other. I don't get a sense of mutuality here. I fear there is going to be decreased US support for Israel over time.


by: Jack David from: Phoenix Az
December 01, 2012 5:33 PM
The arabs got Gaza so Palestine couild finally exist. Gaza was also "won" in the 1967 war along with Sinai. Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt. Egypt let Israel keep Gaza. Israel built up Gaza to the point that it was a viable country. Were the Palestines happy?? Nope..the Hamas terrorist group moved in and began firing rockets at Israel. So the Palestines now want the West Bank. They didn't want a state when Jordan was the landlord because it was muslim rule. When Israel became the new landlord the arabs hated being in a Jewish country so they pushed for a state. The Palestianians got Gaza..they blew it..and now think they are owed the West Bank.Israel would be stupid to give land to a group that has sworn to destroy Israel. That would be like giving the 911 muslim terrorists Central Park so they could have a state..Gaza will be the ONLY country they get..the wanted a 2 state division..Israel and Palestine..they have it but the muslim bullies won't let them have Gaza to run..Tough..Israel is the only country to give land to enemies and receive NO thank you or any support from other countries. Hey Americans Hawaii was stolen by the USA..even the Queen came to Washington to protest the stealing of the Islands.Lets set an example and give Hawaii back to the natives.


by: Ben R. Rodriguez MS. from: Colorado Springs
December 01, 2012 5:30 PM
The action of the United Nation, on dehave of the Palestinians, for decades held as prissioners in their lands, their Nation, had been a replying from the world nations, that are tired of the crimes that the radical jews are performing every day against the Palestinians, men, women, children and seniors. If the action on behave the Palestinian Rights, are trated throuth the general Assembly of the U N, always the Paletinians will have the support to attain their rights. How much we provide to the Israel Right Wind, to destroy the Palestinians?, and steal their land and fortunes ??? We keep track of the billions of dollars that go to support such criminal acts!. We need to tell Congress and all involved, to stop and request real, and fair justice for the Palestinians.

In Response

by: What?Who? from: Maryland
December 01, 2012 6:19 PM
crimes that the radical jews are performing every day against the Palestinians? What crimes? defending their children, providing hospital services for arabs, providing jobs? Read history: the palestinians not only never had a state in this area, but rejected the offer of a state in 48, 67 and at other key opportunities.


by: Sarjeet Gill from: Australia
December 01, 2012 5:24 PM
The Americans supported Israel against the global view of granting Palestine observer status in the United Nations. This comment is deceptive. It creates the impression that the Americans are supporting the Palestinians but the reality is different.
All America has to do to stop Israel from building those homes is to withdraw the billions it is pouring in support of Israel.
Conclusion: The Americans cannot be trusted. They are the most deceptive people.

In Response

by: marc from: melbourne
December 01, 2012 6:59 PM
TRUE TRUE


by: PauR from: Minnesota
December 01, 2012 4:45 PM
3,000 it should be 30,000. It's their country, always has been and always will be.. Any country that takes on Israel will lose and it will happen and that army will be melted.

In Response

by: vinnie gambini from: ny
December 02, 2012 2:21 AM
Can't reason with Jew Haters.
It's irrational incomplete out of context response.
90% emotion and anger.
See how this works out?
They tried killing all the Jews in Europe, almost 6 Million.
Now, 60 years later, the 6 million Jews are back and Israel- as a country flourishes once more.
That's a miracle in itself- and they're still attacking Jews.
Hey, they even ignore the fact Israel has beaten every single attack to survive, and still that doesn't tap their spiritual side.
What are these, co incidences?
EU, becoming more Islamic by the day, and their economy in decay, yet they still attack and slander Israel.

When they should intervene, block sending economic aid to HAMAS, and call for ICC investigation regarding the 6 Palestinians who were executed in the street and their bodies dragged around.....not a peep regarding that....nadda!

That's just unimportant.


by: vengence from: massachusetts
December 01, 2012 4:33 PM
Israel should be able to build any settlements it wants to. Its unfortunate Clinton and the whole world doesn't see Israels side. The American government can't have it both ways. They can't say their going to stand by Israel and than say their wrong by building more settlements. This position by the U.S. State Dept. seems hypocritical and counterproductive. America and the Government should be consistent when we say we support Israel and stop trying to having it both ways.

In Response

by: Bryce from: Pau, France
December 02, 2012 3:11 PM
I'm not even saying i agree with the actions, I am just pointing out that you are a power hungry hypocrite that thinks you have some authority of another countries actions

In Response

by: Bryce from: Pau, France
December 02, 2012 12:51 AM
@marc Your comment is ridiculous, all countries are sovereign, for you to claim that there are is some illegal action being taken makes you sound really stupid. A country can take whatever action it wants and it is not illegal, there is also no obligation for a country to participate in the mob ruled international courts system. A country can take any action that it wants, there is no higher authority with enforcable powers.

In Response

by: EricW from: Philadelphia
December 02, 2012 12:18 AM
Go ahead and do what you want. I guess the rockets will have to continue, the United States will have to stop sending money and the Israeli's will have to dissolve into complete nothingness due to the lack of world support. Are you sure you are an Israel supporter?

In Response

by: Leslie S from: NSW Australia
December 01, 2012 10:26 PM
Totally agree with vengence the American government is becoming inconsistant with many of its comments on Israel in fact America sounds that it would prefer to join the terrorist organization in attacking Israel Hillary Clinton is becoming two faced on many issues involving the middle east.

In Response

by: Marc from: Australia
December 01, 2012 7:25 PM
If you are going to adopt that attitude, then why do you complain when you get bombed. It;s like you taunt the palestinians insite violence and then complain when they fight back. We see straight through your strategy

In Response

by: marc from: Melbourne
December 01, 2012 7:13 PM
What's the point of fighting in Afganistan when the Israelis just keep thwarting the peace project. Whilst Israel does as it likes and america supports this illegal activities, there will always be terrorism. Think about it. Why dont they put Israelis on the front lines in afganistan. Why are we fighting their wars. America needs to stop supporting Israel and needs to stop vetoing UN resolutions condemming Israel.

In Response

by: Pooder from: USA
December 01, 2012 7:02 PM
Thanks. Now I understand. If "we"say we are going to support Israel, then everything they do must be ok. Even if it's wrong. Even if it's really wrong,

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