Clinton: US upset with J’lem housing announcement

Netanyahu: Israel needs multi-lateral peace deal, asks Kissinger for advice on advancing "historic peace" with Palestinians.

By JORDANA HORN, JPOST.COM STAF
November 10, 2010 23:13
4 minute read.
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton in Malaysia. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Israel and the US pledged on Wednesday to work toward a peace deal with the Palestinians, even as they continued to disagree over east Jerusalem construction.

On Tuesday, the two governments traded a number of sharply worded statements on the matter after news broke earlier in the week that Israel was advancing a plan for 1,345 homes in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.

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“The United States was deeply disappointed by the announcement of advanced planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of east Jerusalem. This announcement was counterproductive to our efforts to resume negotiations between the parties. We have long urged both parties to avoid actions which could undermine trust, including in Jerusalem,” US Secretary of State Clinton told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

But in advance of her meeting in New York on Thursday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, she pledged that the US would “continue to work to resume negotiations to address this and other final-status issues...We still believe that a positive outcome is both possible and necessary.”

Speaking in Indonesia earlier in the day, US President Barack Obama said that “enormous obstacles remain.”

He added, “There should be no illusions that peace and security will come easy. But let there be no doubt: We will spare no effort in working for the outcome that is just, and that is in the interest of all the parties involved: two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.”

Before the Clinton meeting, Netanyahu sought advice on Wednesday from former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

"You helped to advance agreements that led to the historic peace with Egypt. It is likely that you have good advice on how to advance a similar goal today," Netanyahu told Kissinger. 

He added that he plans to discuss with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "ways to achieve a peace agreement based on a broad understanding with the Palestinian people and perhaps with additional Arab states as well, an agreement based on security, which will give clear answers to Israel's security needs. We have broad understandings with the US on this issue, as on many others; they overcome the disagreements on other topics."


“I am going to discuss with her how to move toward a broader understanding of an agreement with the Palestinians, perhaps with others in the Arab world, based on security,” the prime minister said.

Diplomatic sources said Netanyahu was expected to tell Clinton that Israel needed to simultaneously make peace with the Palestinians and a broader circle of Arab countries, but the sources did not say which countries he had referenced.

Netanyahu discussed his meeting with Clinton and the stalled peace process in general when he met on Wednesday morning with a group of senior American journalists from many of the major media organizations including CNN, CBS, ABC, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal.

Recent tensions with the US over continued east Jerusalem construction did not have an impact on the longterm relationship with the US, and the work of the two countries toward a peace deal with the Palestinians was continuing, the prime minister told the journalists.

The best way to promote peace with the Palestinians is to solidify comprehensive security understandings between Israel and the US, Netanyahu is expected to tell Clinton, according to diplomatic sources.

that meeting he plans to tell Clinton that given the enormous security challenges in the next decade, Israel’s safety had to be assured in any peace deal.

Malcolm I. Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, told The Jerusalem Post he thought that Netanyahu and Clinton would have “meaningful discussion.” He spoke with the paper on Wednesday, after meeting a day earlier with Netanyahu in New York.

“The primary focus will probably be on the negotiations and how to move things forward – they both have an interest in stopping [Palestinian] unilateralism,” he said.

“Everyone wants to see negotiations renewed,” Hoenlein said.

In that meeting he plans to tell Clinton that given the enormous security challenges in the next decade, Israel’s safety had to be assured in any peace deal.

Malcolm I. Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, told The Jerusalem Post he thought that Netanyahu and Clinton would have “meaningful discussion.” He spoke with the paper on Wednesday, after meeting a day earlier with Netanyahu in New York.

“The primary focus will probably be on the negotiations and how to move things forward – they both have an interest in stopping [Palestinian] unilateralism,” he said.

“Everyone wants to see negotiations renewed,” Hoenlein said.


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