Clinton reverses Obama on Israeli settlements?

posted at 12:55 pm on November 2, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Those of you who thought that the Obama approach to foreign policy was to anger our allies while retreating from our enemies can now relax.  Apparently, we’ll retreat from our allies, too.  The Times of London reports that Hillary Clinton has apparently hit the reset button with Binyamin Netanyahu on the issue of settlement expansion, angering the Palestinians and confusing everyone else:

The Palestinian leadership accused the US of caving in over Israeli settlements after Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, praised Israel for making concessions.

Having failed to force Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, to meet US demands for a total settlement freeze, Mrs Clinton switched tack during a one-day visit to Jerusalem when she called on both sides to resume peace talks.

“What the Prime Minister has offered in specifics of a restraint on the policy of settlements . . . is unprecedented,” Mrs Clinton said. …

The comments by Mrs Clinton were in contrast to the previous stance of the Obama Administration, which has pressured Israel to halt all settlement construction. In May, after President Obama’s first meeting with Mr Netanyahu, Mrs Clinton said that the US “wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions”.

Mr Netanyahu has been unmovable, saying that the nearly 500,000 settlers in the West Bank and east Jerusalem could not be expected to stop building facilities as their communities expanded. He has however proposed limiting construction to about 3,000 homes that have been approved already by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank. He has not considered any halt in east Jerusalem, which was captured with the West Bank and Gaza by Israel in the Six Day War.

In other words, the Obama administration has become quite egalitarian.  Regardless of friend or foe, if another nation refuses to meet our demands, we’ll simply cave and praise them anyway.  I’m certain Iran will take the appropriate lesson from this incident.  The Palestinians certainly did; they referred to it as “American back-tracking,” and refused Hillary’s calls to return to negotiations.

In this case, the reversal is warranted.  The Palestinians still have not produced leadership that has any credibility as a partner for peace in the region.  The Israelis got all the pressure to stop settlements while the US ignored the more obvious provocations by Palestinians, mostly in Gaza but also in the West Bank.  The latest incidents at the al-Aqsa mosque show that the Palestinians want confrontation and battle, not negotiations and peace.

But even beyond the specifics of the issue, the move seems very odd.  The White House seems adrift on foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, careening from one position to another in reactionary mode rather than having a comprehensive philosophy and approach to diplomacy.  The pinballing on missile defense in eastern Europe showed this over the last two months, and now the way that Obama and Clinton are handling one of America’s closest allies seems bizarrely inconsistent.  They have strained American credibility with both friend and foe to the breaking point, and still do not seem to have any idea of what they want or how to get it.

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When he speaks English, which he does perfectly, he calls himself Benjamin.

Tzetzes on November 2, 2009 at 9:56 PM

When he speaks English, which he does perfectly,

Tzetzes on November 2, 2009 at 9:56 PM

He went to Cheltenham High, outside of Philly.

progressoverpeace on November 2, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Maybe the Obama administration would stop being confused if either the Israelis or Palestinians joined the Republican Party FOX News.

Jim Treacher on November 2, 2009 at 2:15 PM

RD on November 2, 2009 at 11:55 PM


MaximusConfessor on November 2, 2009 at 5:11 PM

“Your friend” deserved worse than what she got. She was a slimeball who was there to support terrorists in their war against Israel. She was the scum of the Earth – the lowest humanity produces. People like her will be the death of civilization if they have their way.

progressoverpeace on November 2, 2009 at 8:30 PM

How dare you say such a horrible thing! What kind of monster are you?

ED, PLEASE BAN THIS POS “progressoverpeace”!

Ed, “progressoverpeace” is the same guy who on other threads has called black people “monkeys” and has said that “all arabs are less than dirt and should all be wiped out”.

Ed this is not free speech that is blatant racism and inciting murder.

Now i am certainly someone who supports free speech 100%(if we don’t have free speech we have nothing) and I will speak the Truth and provide FACTS and EVIDENCE because I am a Christian and Christians are commanded to “reprove the works of darkness” and not to hiode from the Truth!

But this SOB here has crossed the line! This is not free speech THIS IS INCITING MURDER and this is a criminal offense!


This is the girl,a very close friend of mine, who was brutally murdered,whose MURDER HE IS INCITING and whose memory he is desecrating.

She was the nicest girl you would ever meet.

Ed please watch these two videos of her:

All she cared about was helping other people and helping those who are less fortunate and helping those who are suffering!

She was the most kind,caring and gentle person you could ever meet.

“progressover peace”,
Do you think that you have a free pass to be as racist as you want just because you are an israeli citizen? You’re just doing nothing but making your fellow countrymen look bad.

These unarmed women and children being murdered in this video are what you call terrorists? You’re a savage!

You say she deserved worse than the brutal murder that she received Huh?

You’re a disgrace to the human race. You should not call yourself a human being. You’re just a pychopathic murderer. A dumb and vile animal.

MaximusConfessor on November 3, 2009 at 9:13 AM

If Ed bans anybody, I hope it’s MaximusConfessor. Sheesh! POP wrote his opinion. He didn’t murder anybody. If St. Pancake lied down in front of a bulldozer and the machine’s operator couldn’t see her, she suffered the consequences of her own actions. Now, what do we call people who hate that? Leftists?

Al in St. Lou on November 3, 2009 at 12:30 PM

If Ed bans anybody, I hope it’s MaximusConfessor.

Al in St. Lou on November 3, 2009 at 12:30 PM

I agree! Ed .. Please rid us of this Idiot.. Please!

Ghostbuster on November 3, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Comment pages: 1 2