PM convenes ministers amidst crisis with US

ADL slams Obama administration: We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.

March 13, 2010 20:57
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (AP).

netanyahu 311. (photo credit: AP)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu convened his top ministers for a meeting Saturday evening to discuss the fallout of an announcement on construction in Jerusalem made during the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden.

During Biden’s visit, the Interior Ministry announced that 1,600 housing units will be built in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

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Biden initially condemned the move but on Thursday said that after Netanyahu apologized to him the crisis was behind them.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, however, called Netanyahu on Friday and scolded him over the incident.

Saturday evening, the Anti-Defamation League took the administration to task saying in a statement it was “shocked and stunned” by Washington’s “public dressing down” of Israel.
The ADL said a daily briefing by Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley was especially harsh when Crowley said Israel "undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America's interests" when it announced the housing in Ramat Shlomo.

“We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.  One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table,” ADL National Director Abraham L. Foxman said.

“It is especially troubling that this harsh statement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly and privately explained to Vice President Biden the bureaucratic nature in making the announcement of proposed new building in Jerusalem, and Biden accepted the prime minister's apology for it. Therefore, to raise the issue again in this way is a gross overreaction to a point of policy difference among friends.

“The Administration should have confidence and trust in Israel whose tireless pursuit for peace is repeatedly rebuffed by the Palestinians and whose interests remain in line with the United States,” Foxman said.

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