Secretary Clinton Speaks to American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 22, 2010

On March 22, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks to the

"So from its first day, the Obama Administration has worked to promote Israel's security and long-term success. And if you ever doubt the resolve of President Obama to stay with a job, look at what we got done for the United States last night when it came to passing quality affordable healthcare for everyone. And we know that, as Vice President Biden said in Israel recently, to make progress in this region, there must be no gap between the United States and Israel on security. And let me assure you, as I have assured you on previous occasions with large groups like this and small intimate settings, for President Obama and for me, and for this entire Administration, our commitment to Israel's security and Israel's future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever."

Secretary Clinton spoke about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. The Secretary said, "In addition to threatening Israel, a nuclear-armed Iran would embolden its terrorist clientele and would spark an arms race that could destabilize the region. This is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to the United States. It is unacceptable to Israel. It is unacceptable to the region and the international community. So let me be very clear: The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"Now, for most of the past decade, the United States, as you know, declined to engage with Iran. And Iran grew more, not less, dangerous. It built thousands of centrifuges and spurned the international community. But it faced few consequences. President Obama has been trying a different course, designed to present Iran's leaders with a clear choice. We've made extensive efforts to reengage with Iran, both through direct communication and working with other partners multilaterally, to send an unmistakable message: Uphold your international obligations. And if you do, you will reap the benefits of normal relations. If you do not, you will face increased isolation and painful consequences.

"We took this course with the understanding that the very effort of seeking engagement would strengthen our hand if Iran rejected our initiative. And over the last year, Iran's leaders have been stripped of their usual excuses. The world has seen that it is Iran, not the United States, responsible for the impasse. With its secret nuclear facilities, increasing violations of its obligations under the nonproliferation regime, and an unjustified expansion of its enrichment activities, more and more nations are finally expressing deep concerns about Iran's intentions. And there is a growing international consensus on taking steps to pressure Iran's leaders to change course."

The Secretary also spoke about Israel and the Palestinian Territories. She said, "Israel today is confronting some of the toughest challenges in her history. The conflict with the Palestinians and with Israel's Arab neighbors is an obstacle to prosperity and opportunity for Israelis, Palestinians, and people across the region. But it also threatens Israel's long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state.

"The status quo is unsustainable for all sides. It promises only more violence and unrealized aspirations. Staying on this course means continuing a conflict that carries tragic human costs. Israeli and Palestinian children alike deserve to grow up free from fear and to have that same opportunity to live up to their full God-given potential."

The Secretary continued, "There is today truly a struggle, maybe for the first time, between those in the region who accept peace and coexistence with Israel and those who reject it and seek only continued violence. The status quo strengthens the rejectionists who claim peace is impossible, and it weakens those who would accept coexistence. That does not serve Israel's interests or our own. Those willing to negotiate need to be able to show results for their efforts. And those who preach violence must be proven wrong. All of our regional challenges -- confronting the threat posed by Iran, combating violent extremism, promoting democracy and economic opportunity -- become harder if the rejectionists grow in power and influence.

"Conversely, a two-state solution would allow Israel's contributions to the world and to our greater humanity to get the recognition they deserve. It would also allow the Palestinians to have to govern to realize their own legitimate aspirations. And it would undermine the appeal of extremism across the region."

Read the Secretary's full remarks here.

Comments

Comments

gabrielle
|
Georgia, USA
March 22, 2010

Gabrielle in Georgia writes:

does anybody think she is bs-ing??

Richard W.
|
California, USA
March 22, 2010

Richard W. in California writes:

So much for open government.

This was filled with comments, and they've all been deleted. Doubtless this one will be as well.

Regardless, I would like to point out that Israeli settlements serve no other purpose than to expand Israeli territory at the expense of Palestinians who are forcibly removed from their land.

Since Israel plans to continue building their stated desire for a reconciliation with Palestinians is obviously false. Israel has no intention of making any sort of peace with the Palestinians.

Since the United States has taken no action with regard to Israel's expanded settlements (and won't if history is any guide) this demonstrates the United States insincerity with regard to even handedness in this conflict.

Israel is going to receive 3 billion dollars in US aid mostly in military weaponry. Nobody in the Arab world can ignore this fact.

The US State Department in the past has been quite clear that this is a focal point for the US' conflict with the Middle East and until the United States starts acting with sincerity in resolving this issue, the US will remain at war with the Islamic world to the detriment of American citizens.

David Z.
|
Israel
March 22, 2010

David Z. in Israel writes:

As a retired Israeli diplomat, who served his country as Consul General in Alexandria, Egypt, in implementation of the peace treaty, I commend Secretary Clinton for her forthright and timely remarks at the AIPAC meeting.

I do hope that the USA will indeed provide firm leadership, so needed for the free world, as we together seek peace from a position of strength in the face of those who would cow us with terrorism and nuclear threats.

We must not allow this decade to be a replay of the 1930s. Those who do not learn from history will be bound to repeat fatal mistakes.

Reynold R.
|
Ohio, USA
March 22, 2010

Reynold R. in Ohio writes:

I am a Conservative Republican who has not always agreed with Secretary Clintons views; however I was very impressed with her speech today at the Israel lobyist meeting. I listened to the entire speech on C-Span and It was Mrs. Clinton at her best! I can not think of anyone currently or in the past that could have delivered a more convincing address about Israel, she knew what she was talking about and was very specific. Maybe the Obama administration (includig Joe Biden) should get out of her way and let her do the job there? She has forgotten more about the middle east than any of them ever knew! Respectfully Rey

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ David Z,

Welcome to the blog, how long do you think hamas and hisbollah could remain effective spoilers of peace if the government of Iran was no longer around to sponsor them?

joe p.
|
United States
March 23, 2010

Joe P. in U.S.A. writes:

There are things the Israelis want and those the Palestinians want. If one side wants one thing bad enough, they might bend significantly on another. The Israelis want full control of Jerusalem; would they give up their settlements, elswhere, to get that? And if not that scenario, can anyone think of another that might work?

Kim L.
|
Finland
March 23, 2010

Kim L. in Finland writes:

Secretary Clinton,

I hope that the USA, with the guidance of Mr Obama and a clearly highly competent Secretary of State, can increasingly pull itself away from the one-sided view of the Israeli-Palestinian situation it has essentially held for decades.

Let's call a spade a spade: Israel has become steadily more hawkish over the past decades, also as a result of an influx of conservatively-minded mainly immigrants from what used to be the USSR; people with the misfortune of being born and raised on the clearly wrong side of the Iron Curtain, under tyrannies. Raised in despotism and repression it takes time for these people to start understanding how things happen here in the West, where there is a free press, a parliament, an abundance of open and free libraries, and there is no need to anhilate your neighbour before he anhilates you. No, in real democracies we look for common ground, we agree as a point of departure that strife is worse than a making reciprocal concessions, in short the process through which realistic political solutions can be achieved. Unfortunately, for many ex-Soviet citizens compromise = weakness. Their former homelands are nations that are still in awe of people like Stalin, Peter The Great, and a slew of other more recent murdering psycopaths, and Gorbachov is considered a traitor and a weakling.

Allowing this new extremist immmigrant elcotorate the power to bring this political heritage to bear, and (through Mr Netanyahu) sway the USA in their attempt to bring peace to the region (and doing so in the brutish manner Mr Netanyahu did to his friend and ally Mr Biden recently is Israel), is both irresponsible and extremely counter-productive. The USA must have the backbone to stand up and (firmly) calm their israeli friends down, and draw clear lines of what is acceptable and what is not, and push them firmly in the right direction.

If Mr Netanyahu wants to behave in a hawkish and utterly irresponsible and provocative manner by builidng settlements in territories that are, by unanimous international consensus, not territories where Israel can build, he needs to be redressed in the same way any other xenophobic politico in another rogue nation would be. Unfortunately we have in recent history seen that hawkish Israeli politcos are only too happy to lead the western world towards an all out war with the islamic world, in a quest to reach their own theocratic, insular and historically honey-dripped visions of an Israel that cannot be; some israelis are even content to murder their own politicians who dare to attempt to actually face reality, politicians like Mr Rabin who realized that it was time to end the killing and bring peace to their citizens and neighbours.

Secretary Clinton, I urge you not to blink with either party of this conflict when they are being unreasonable. Central to the US credibility here is... being fair; being encouraging and stern when necessary, with both sides.

There is simply too much at stake here, for the whole world. Mr Obama and yourself carry the weight of this historic possibility and responsibility. The lack of a strong Palestinian lobby in the USA must not sway your commitment to this essential impartiality. Yes, I am sure it is politically very difficult for you to carry your mission out, but if the US can't do it, pull out and back somebody else who can. Only a nation and a leader with moral authority wrought of a realitic vision and possesed of unimpeachable impartiality, stands even a sliver of a chance of herding these nations towards the peace they should have been able to achieve on their own decades ago, but are clearly politically and socially unequipped to do without external help.... and pressure.

Wishing you all the best Secretary Clinton, respect, Kim L., Espoo, Finland

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
March 23, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

NOBODY IN THE WORLD WANTS PALESTINE OR ISREAL TO CONTINUE FIGHTING OR DYING FOR A PIECE OF LAND.

WE ALL WOULD LIKE PEACE BETWEEN THESE TWO NATIONS.

NAME CALLING, IS NOT A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.

BULLYING ISREAL WONT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

LOOK IN YOUR HEART OF HEARTS, EVERYONE AND THINK OF WAYS THAT WOULD HELP SOLVE THE CRISIS. IF YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT COMING UP WITH SOLUTIONS, NOW IS THE TIME. NOBODY ON EARTH WANTS TO SEE CASUALTIES ON EITHER SIDE. MY SUGGESTION IS PALESTINE LEAVES AND STARTS A NEW OCCUPATION WHERE THEY CAN GROW IN PEACE. EVEN THE ARABS CAN APPRECIATE KNOWING THE PALESTINES WOULD HAVE A NEW HOME, A NEW COUNTRY, AND NEW PLACE TO RAISE A FAMILY IN PEACE. THIS WOULD HELP SOLVE THE CRISIS.

REMEMBER JAH

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Donald,

I don't know that anyone wants to, but folks seem perfectly willing to on all sides.

If talking sense to your friends is what you call "bullying", then I take it you would approve of us not saying a thing and letting them make mistakes that lead to further conflict without discussing it?

Asking the Palestinians to leave will be about as succesful as asking the Israelis to.

By the way, what is it about using ALL-CAPS that make folks think they are writing loud enough to get attention?

Or is that just "anger management" at work?

Gary
March 23, 2010

Gary writes:

Her invocation of Hamas as responsible for the naming of a public square after a terrorist is 'interesting', to say the least. It is not as if there were no trace of Fatah in all this. From the New York Times:

Dozens of Palestinian students from the youth division of Fatah, the mainstream party led by President Mahmoud Abbas, gathered here on Thursday to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who in 1978 helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history. . .

To Israelis, hailing Ms. Mughrabi as a heroine and a martyr is an act that glorifies terrorism.

But, underscoring the chasm between Israeli and Palestinian perceptions, the Fatah representatives described Ms. Mughrabi as a courageous fighter who held a proud place in Palestinian history. Defiant, they insisted that they would not let Israel dictate the names of Palestinian streets and squares.

“We are all Dalal Mughrabi,” declared Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, the party’s main decision-making body, who came to join the students. “For us she is not a terrorist,” he said, but rather “a fighter who fought for the liberation of her own land.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/12/world/middleeast/12westbank.html

Her speech was so filled with amateurish 'understanding' and false statements it made me sick. Especially since all she had to do was look at the maps her own husband was using to try and make peace to see that Ramat Sholomo was never up for handing to the 'Pals' under the best of deals... it also overlooks strategic roads in Jerusalem.

So much for being committed to Israel's security.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 23, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There's a time to offer solutions and and a time to insist the parties to conflict put their best ideas forward and put the process in gear of their own accord, face to face. No excuses.

They know what they need to do. I'm glad the Prime Minister of Israel has now publicly met the challenge and is willing. Hope he's well met by President Abass in the very near future.

If I were trying to mediate so called "proximity" talks..( strange new lexicon) at this point I'd be tempted to take the "Terminator" approach, ""When you guys are serious about this, "I'LL BE BACK.""

Someday I'd like to sit down with Sen. Mitchell and discuss that "legendary patience" of his, in the hopes some of it rubs off.

(chuckle)

I don't know whether to convey my Congrats for him having the guts to take on a task that drawfs trying to pass health care in its political entrenchments, or my sympathies for what has been up till now an excercise in futility for many.

Well, he's got my respect for trying.

Maybe my experience at a New York hot dog stand will help lend him perspective on some useful level.

First time in the city, wandering around doing a lot of looking up, I'm passing by the UN building and decide to go for a dog, it being New York and all, and what doesn't kill you only makes one stronger.

Two men were waiting for their orders as I placed mine talking animatedly in civil debate over some issue in their homelands. One was a Hasidic Jew and the other Palestinian, both in traditional garb.

Stood there listening, got my order and broke the first cardinal rule of diplomacy, "Never, ever walk up to someone on the street in New York city and start talking to them, they'll think you're nuts".

But I did, appologized for overhearing and asked if they'd entertain a question. They looked at each other like "This guy must be nuts." shrugged in unison, and nodded.

So I asked them "How is it that the two of you can have such a civil discussion standing here, and no one seems willing to where you come from?"

So the Jew asks the Palestinian, "Do you want to answer that?""I'll give you the honor I think." he replied, and they smiled at each other and the fellow in black said to me, "That is because this is nuetral territory.""Ah yes..", (looking up at the UN building), I can understand why you explain it so being here, but If your people cannot resolve their problems, then when does your conflict come to our shores?"

Niether one of them thought I was nuts at that point.

Nor did they have a ready answer in 1989.

I then wished both them and their people good wishes for a peaceful resolution and went on my way.

We found out the answer on 9/11.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 24, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

There's a time to offer solutions and and a time to insist the parties to conflict put their best ideas forward and put the process in gear of their own accord, face to face. No excuses.

They know what they need to do. I'm glad the Prime Minister of Israel has now publicly met the challenge and is willing. Hope he's well met by President Abass in the very near future.

If I were trying to mediate so called "proximity" talks..( strange new lexicon) at this point I'd be tempted to take the "Terminator" approach, ""When you guys are serious about this, "I'LL BE BACK.""

Someday I'd like to sit down with Sen. Mitchell and discuss that "legendary patience" of his, in the hopes some of it rubs off. (chuckle)

I don't know whether to convey my Congrats for him having the guts to take on a task that drawfs trying to pass health care in its political entrenchments, or my sympathies for what has been up till now an excercise in futility for many.

Well, he's got my respect for trying.

Maybe my experience at a New York hot dog stand will help lend him perspective on some useful level.

First time in the city, wandering around doing a lot of looking up, I'm passing by the UN building and decide to go for a dog, it being New York and all, and what doesn't kill you only makes one stronger.

Two men were waiting for their orders as I placed mine talking animatedly in civil debate over some issue in their homelands. One was a Hasidic Jew and the other Palestinian, both in traditional garb.

Stood there listening, got my order and broke the first cardinal rule of diplomacy, "Never, ever walk up to someone on the street in New York city and start talking to them, they'll think you're nuts".

But I did, appologized for overhearing and asked if they'd entertain a question. They looked at each other like "This guy must be nuts." shrugged in unison, and nodded.

So I asked them "How is it that the two of you can have such a civil discussion standing here, and no one seems willing to where you come from?"

So the Jew asks the Palestinian, "Do you want to answer that?""I'll give you the honor I think." he replied, and they smiled at each other and the fellow in black said to me, "That is because this is neutral territory.""Ah yes..", (looking up at the UN building), I can understand why you explain it so being here, but If your people cannot resolve their problems, then when does your conflict come to our shores?"

Neither one of them thought I was nuts at that point.

Nor did they have a ready answer in 1989.

I then wished both them and their people good wishes for a peaceful resolution and went on my way.

We found out the answer on 9/11.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
March 25, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

My apologies for using CAPS. Maybe it was a little bit of shouting on my part. In the attempt to get my voice heard. If United States continues to step into these quadmire situations, remember that its only a matter of time before China who the US Owes money to decides to leverage our Nation, start telling us what to do, or how to behave. Think about that...

Jack K.
|
California, USA
March 25, 2010

Jack K. in California writes:

I was in Jordan for 3 years. Occasionally I crossed over into occupied Palestine (West Bank) and into Israel proper. Israel is the only country, since WWII, to take land by force of arms, and never relinquish it. They should go back to the pre-67 war boundaries and we should guarantee those boundaries.

It looks like the Israeli leadership has gone along with national hardliners in the intent to never give up the West Bank under anything less that their own conditions. It appears that those conditions will include refusal to give up that part of Jerusalem that was in the West Bank (the answer would to make all Jerusalem an "Open City") and to keep their many settlements in the rest of the West Bank.

The U.S. should be applying pressure to stop the Israeli takeover of lands that were previously the West Bank. Money enables Israel to build these settlements and the "special" roads that connect them. We should stop that part of the money that comes from our government. If that doesn't get their attention, we should restrict our military aid.

The U.S. lobby in behalf of Israel is missing the fact that our own nation, not just that of Israel, is looked upon unfavorably by the rest of the world because of our unquestioning support of Israel. Even now, after having admonished them for plans to build in Jerusalem and elsewhere, we are quietly backtracking from telling Israel to stop building and negotiate.

If we cannot make any progress on resolving the issue of "Two States", then we should just come out and say so. Then we should say that we've failed to get Israel to work with us and we should agree that Israel should take all of the West Bank land of Palestine and make everyone a Ciitzen of Israel. That will give the Palestinians rights and privileges that they cannot have as an occupied land.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
March 25, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

@ Jack K. in California

The politicans try to come up with resolutions that match policies. If it looks good, it must be good for the people. We all know that the Palastines and Jews continue to fight over the lands. We know that both sides have good intentions. We know that maybe as a solution to this biblical problem is NOT by removing a religon, but maybe as Starting a new founded Religon that accepts Jews and Arabs under the Same Government. The Leader of Isreal and the Leader of Palestine share the same Government building, and start working out the disputes within the office. This is how Peace will happen for both of these Nations, NOT a two state solution, But ONE State that accepts both religons and respects each other. How can there be war between these two Nations if they live under the same roof? My idea would resolve the fighting, the hate that exists, and bring a new Government and allow for people to be more accepted for all people in that area. Restoring both Christian, Jews and Arabs under the same House! Maybe that is what God had in mind. Then nobody in that part of the world could hate, or worry about the lands. It would be resolved through Democracy, Votes, the purchase of lands, and Freedom Exist!!!

zal718@gmail.com
|
New York, USA
April 16, 2010

Zal in New York writes:

The way Israel is treated by USA is despicable.

Arab states use every excuse in the book to undermine Israel at every step.

Arab media is OPENLY teaching violence and hate for Israel and the western world.

It is about time to cut us from the gasoline dependency, move to propane, methane from sewege sources or even steam (yes, it is today possible)

Many Islamists are openly hostile and bellicose toward the west.

We should openly support the moderate Muslims and support them while making sure that we frown on and disapprove wahabbi extremists.

We must put our money where our mouth is as well.

I WOULD DISQUALIFY ANY POLITICIAN WITH OIL INTERESTS TIED INTO HIS PRIVATE INVESTMENTS TO RUN OUR FOREIGN POLICY DEPT. (BUSH & CARLYLE GROUP & oSAMA)

recidivist
|
Australia
June 5, 2010

R. in Australia writes:

Gary wrote: "To Israelis, hailing Ms. Mughrabi as a heroine and a martyr is an act that glorifies terrorism."

I think that most Palestinians would say that the same applied to Menachim Begin

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_David_Hotel_bombing

to name but one of the many Israeli leaders who led the attacks on the local inhabitants and the British during the British Mandate prior to the founding of Israel.

Christina
|
New York, USA
December 9, 2010

Christina in New York writes:

This false rhetoric of Hillary Clinton is a prime example of Hegelian Dialectic & Orwellian Double-Speak. Wasn’t this the Clintons who left a long string of dead bodies behind them in the Mena, Arkansas Crack-Cocaine Importing in the 80′s under William Jefferson Rockefeller Clinton’s Blood Relative Bush Sr.?

Americans who trust this one, AIPAC has a Brooklyn Bridge to sell You like Mossad & 911.

Christina

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