Clinton in Israel: U.S. Will Stand By Any Israeli Government


peresSecretary of State Hillary Clinton today told President Shimon Peres that the Obama administration would stand by any Israeli government now being forged. Clinton’s morning meeting with Peres was the first of a two-day round of talks scheduled with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on her first trip to the region as the top U.S. diplomat. The secretary of state arrived in Yerushalayim last night from the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where she pledged $900 million in U.S. aid at an international donors conference for rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Israel’s offensive against its Hamas rulers.
Prime minister-designate Binyomin Netanyahu plans to tell Clinton during their talks later today that his government will continue peace talks with the Palestinians, Likud MK Silvan Shalom said.”I think that Hillary Clinton, when she comes today, will find Binyomin Netanyahu prepared to continue to hold negotiations, not only on economic projects but also political negotiations, a political process,” said Shalom,.

That message would mark a change in the hard-line Likud leader’s long-stated position that peace talks are a waste of time because of the weakness of the Palestinian leadership.

He has suggested in the past he would instead invest in the Palestinian economy while continuing Israeli settlement in the West Bank indefinitely.

But Netanyahu appears to have altered his stance, at least outwardly, since Israel’s national election last month, after which he was chosen to lead the country’s next government. Freezing peace talks would set Israel up for a clash with the international community and the U.S., its most important ally.

But Shalom, who spoke to Army Radio, would not say that Netanyahu supports the creation of a Palestinian state, the key goal of U.S.-backed peace negotiations. Netanyahu also openly opposes any division of Yerushalayim, a central Palestinian demand.

In addition to discussing the Palestinian situation, Israel will also present Clinton with a series of “red lines” it wants Washington to incorporate into its planned dialogue with Tehran about Iran’s nuclear program.

Clinton expressed sympathy yesterday for Israel’s need to respond to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, while urging Israeli officials to help the Palestinians better govern themselves.

Israel should help its “responsible” Palestinian partners “strengthen their capacity to govern the Palestinian people and move toward a viable state,” Clinton told reporters in Egypt today after a money-raising conference for war-battered Gaza.

Clinton said she is “troubled” by the continued rocket attacks from the coastal enclave, which is ruled by the Hamas rivals of the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank.

The division among the Palestinians is one of the problems standing in the way of a peace effort that Clinton’s trip is meant to push forward.

Clinton sought to assure the conference that President Barack Obama will pursue a peace deal between Israel and its Arab neighbors with “vigor and intensity.”

“The United States is committed to a comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, and we will pursue it on many fronts,” Clinton told the conference yesterday in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The gathering of 75 countries and international organizations pledged more than $4.2 billion in aid for Gaza, parts of which were devastated by Israel’s 22-day air, land and sea assault aimed at ending the rocket fire.

Most major donors agreed the funding shouldn’t go to Hamas.

Abbas told the delegates, “We appreciate your presence and help, but we also insist that we must urgently proceed towards a settlement that will solve the conflict with Israel.”

Clinton praised Abbas for being willing to move toward a negotiated settlement, and she commended Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad for increasing the credibility of his administration with financial controls.

The funds represent “both a short- and long-term approach,” Clinton said. “It is not enough just to respond to the immediate needs of the Palestinian people. Our response to today’s crisis in Gaza cannot be separated from our broader efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace.”

{Yair Israel}


  1. BH Clinton is a REAL true friend of Israel. she knows – she is brilliant and knows the hard facts and the real issues. her time in new york and fighting palestinian jihad indoctrination of children gave her the best insight when approaching this diffidcult situation. may hashem bless her in her important work!