Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding US Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Protest turns deadly as Palestinians rally against Gaza offensive

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

Americas

Clinton urges Israel to make 'difficult' choices on Mideast peace

Video by Guillaume MEYER , Natalie HANDEL

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-23

In an address to the influential pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged "rock-solid" commitment to Israel's security but warned that the country faced "difficult" choices on the road to peace.

After more than a week of tense relations between Washington and Tel Aviv, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried on Monday to downplay a public spat over continued Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian land by insisting on the two allies’ unbreakable bond, while also urging Israel to make “difficult” choices to revive the Mideast peace process.

In a speech to AIPAC’s annual conference, Clinton said that the Obama administration’s support for Israeli security was “rock-solid”, adding that in her case, it was a personal affair.

“Guaranteeing Israel's security is more than a policy position for me. It is a personal commitment that will never waiver”, said Clinton.

AIPAC, a leading pro-Israel pressure group that wields influence across the political spectrum in Congress, has repeatedly urged the Obama administration to tone down its rhetoric against the Jewish state and move past recent tensions.

Israeli Prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu has also struck a conciliatory tone ahead of his AIPAC speech, promising some undisclosed “confidence-building” measures to help revive peace talks.

Settlement standoff

But Netanyahu didn’t back down from what caused one of the most serious crisis in US-Israel relations – a plan to build 1,600 new homes for Jews in Ramat Shlomo, a religious settlement located in mostly Arab East Jerusalem. Israel’s announcement of the new settlement plan, which coincided with a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden aimed at reviving stalled Mideast peace talks, draw a furious response from Washington.

Several senior US officials have slammed both the timing and the substance of the plan, condemning the announcement as “insulting”, and describing continued Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian land as “destructive” to peace efforts.

Despite the show of reconciliation at the AIPAC summit, Washington has continued to criticise Israel’s settlement plans, setting the stage for a protracted, behind-the-scenes dispute between the two allies. In a veiled reference to last week’s standoff, Clinton said it was the United States’ role to “tell the truth when it is needed”, calling on both Israel and the Palestinians to make “difficult but necessary choices”.

“New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides want and need”, she added.

Israeli Prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu is due to address the AIPAC conference later on Monday and to see President Obama on Tuesday.

 

Date created : 2010-03-22

  • ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

    Biden says Israeli settlement plan undermines peace efforts

    Read more

  • ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

    Glossary of the Mideast conflict

    Read more

COMMENT(S)