“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,” Clinton said. “It exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region could hope to exploit. And it undermines America’s unique ability to play a role — an essential role, I might add — in the peace process.” – Clinton says Israel settlements obstacle to peace
AIPAC continues today. J Street is running a full page ad in the New York Times entitled “It’s Time.”
Notes on Sect. Clinton’s speech (full remarks at link), which has now concluded:
“The forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States… and therefore we firmly believe… when we strengthen Israel’s security, we strengthen America’s security.”
Clinton then said that if you doubt Obama’s resolve, look what Obama got done last night by passing quality health care.
“There must be no gap between the United States on Israel on security. … for Pres. Obama and me and for this entire Administration our commitment to Israel is “rock solid, enduring… and forever.”
Guaranteeing Israel’s security is more than a policy commitment for me, it’s a personal commitment that will never waver.
“I don’t think Rabin ever forgave me for banishing him to the balcony when he wanted to smoke.”
The long-standing U.S. policy on settlements, which must stop. In 2008 I told this conference that Barack Obama would be a friend to Israel, because of his own history… Obama and his family has lived the diaspora experience… “There is always a homeland at the center of our story. As president he has supported Israel in word and in deed.”
“We voted against the deeply flawed Goldstone Report. This Administration will always stand up for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
For Israel there is no greater threat than a nuclear armed Iran. Clinton calls the regime a “menace.” Clinton invokes Iranian rulers who deny 9/11. People everywhere were horrified by the images of a woman shot dead. Nuclear Iran would “spark an arms race that would spread throughout the region.”
“So let me be clear, the United States is determined to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
“Sanctions that will bite” is the purpose of the U.S. “We will not compromise our commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring these weapons.”
Iran isn’t the only threat to Israel. Conflicts with Palestinians and its Arab nations threaten the security of Israel and the Jewish state. “The status quo is unsustainable for all sides. … There is another path.. but it will require all parties, including Israel to make difficult but necessary changes.” What has happened the last decade has not served Israel or the security of the United States.
Democracy and demography threaten the dream of a Jewish homeland. A two-state solution is the only viable path for Israel to remain a Jewish state. “There is today truly a struggle, maybe for the first time, with those in the region and those who reject it and seek only continued violence. The status quo strengthens the rejectionists…”
The evolving reality of war is making it harder to keep Israel secure. “Rockets with better guidance systems and longer range are spreading across the region.” Hezbollah and Hamas has serious military rocket potential threatens Israel in new ways.
“Gilad Shalit must be released immediately and returned to his family.”
Only by choosing a new path can Israel manifest a new piece. Partnership required for the Palestinians as well. “Two states for two people. … Normal relations between Israel and all the Arab states.”
“The parties themselves must solve their differences.”
Jerusalem is a deeply, deeply profound issue. “Both Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from unilateral statements…”
New construction in East Jerusalem endangers process, “exposes daylight between Israel & US that others in region exploit.”
Clinton meeting w/ Netanyahu today; Obama tomorrow.
Stop settlements and acknowledge the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. “There is no path without pain. But the path of peace is preferable to war.”
The United States and the American people will stand with you and share the burdens. God Bless the United States and Israel…