Secretary Clinton Underscores U.S. Commitments to Israel

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 3, 2009
Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Livni

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryToday, Secretary Clinton and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni held a joint press conference at Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Secretary Clinton said:"Thank you very much. I’m delighted to be back here at the foreign ministry and to be hosted by the foreign minister. As with all my previous visits to Israel, going back nearly 30 years, I feel very welcomed by the Israeli people. And I appreciate now the opportunity to have this first visit as Secretary of State of my country, representing our new President, and to discuss with officials and friends some of the very challenging issues – a full, broad array of them – based on our close relationship.

I was privileged to start my day with President Peres, and then to pay a visit to Yad Vashem to once again pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. My visit was a powerful reminder, as it always is, of why we are working so hard to advance the peace and security of the state of Israel.

As I said this morning, President Obama and I believe that the bond between the United States and Israel, and our commitment to Israel’s security and to its democracy as a Jewish state, remains fundamental, unshakable, and eternally durable.

We had a very productive discussion today, and it was broad-ranging. We discussed, among many other things, our common commitment to a two-state solution as part of a comprehensive, secure peace with Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab neighbors. We talked about the steps that the minister has pursued and what could be done when there is a new government in place.

The first step right now, not waiting for a new government, is a durable ceasefire. But that can only be achieved if Hamas ceases the rocket attacks. No nation should be expected to sit idly by and allow rockets to assault its people and its territories. These attacks must stop and so must the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. These activities put innocent lives of Israelis and Palestinians at risk and undermine the well-being of the people of Gaza.

As we move forward, we will work together – along with the international community – to address the humanitarian needs in Gaza. We believe we can also work together to further the obligations that were entered into by the Palestinian Authority under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, and help pave the way for a viable Palestinian state that can be independent, accountable, and live at peace.

That is the message that I brought to the Gaza donors conference, along with a pledge that the United States will be vigorously engaged in the pursuit of a two-state solution every step of the way. Our Special Envoy Senator Mitchell is here with me today. He will be back soon, once there is a government formed. The road ahead, we acknowledge, is a difficult one but there is no time to waste.

The foreign minister and I also discussed Iran. We share Israel’s concerns about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and its continued financing of terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. As we conduct our policy review and consider areas where we might be able to productively engage with Iran, we will stay in very close consultation with our friends here in Israel, with the neighbors of Iran in the region and beyond with those countries that understand what a threat Iran poses today, and what a greater threat it would pose were it ever to be successful in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

As I pledge again today, and as President Obama has said, we will do everything necessary to ensure Israel’s security now and into the future.

I will later today meet with the prime minister-designate, with the defense minister, and with the prime minister, and will be engaging with them on a full range of the issues that we – both of our countries –care so much about.

We believe that working together as friends and partners with patient, determined, persevering diplomacy, we can help advance the cause of peace and security here in Israel and throughout the region. So again, Madame Minister, thank you so much for hosting me here today."

You may read the complete transcript of the press conference here.



New York, USA
March 3, 2009

Patricia in New York writes:

A monumental task and one that will be discussed over the next 1000 years.

New Jersey, USA
March 3, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Why is it that I look at these two women and think that if they could meet with the Palestinian women leaders they could all bring this situation closer to a solution than the world has ever seen?

Maybe it's because women know what a household, and by extension, a community needs and are more interested in getting their kids fed, clothed, and educated than they are in differences between/among them.

I do not mean that men don't address these things -- no offense guys -- really, but I think women are closer to these basics usually.

There's a very powerful potential here, but Bibi needs to just sit back and let them at it.

Maryland, USA
March 3, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

I thought that was a very good press conference.

The Foriegn Minister & Secretary Clinton both answered some very good questions.I think Hamas needs to stop firing rockets, before it will be safe to open the boarder.You don't what people getting hurt trying to cross for any reason.

I like Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, She speaks english very well, and had nice things to say about America. I hope thier new goverment is as nice as thier old one. President Shimon Peres, Seem like a nice person. I like the video of him giving Hillary some flowers. They must be good friend.

I hope everything works out for the people of Gaza. Theydeserve to live normal lives like the rest of us.

keep up the good work :) Cya

California, USA
March 4, 2009

Kirk H. in California writes:

I am proud that Secretary Clinton has chosen to verbally support the Nation of Israel. Although I disagree with the Secretary on many issues, she has executed a proper direction and commitment to God and Country. Thank you Secretary Clinton, you are helping to preserve this nation, the U.S.A., for my 10 year old daughter.

Pennsylvania, USA
March 4, 2009

Wayne in Pennsylvania writes:

"As we move forward, we will work together -- along with the international community -- to address the humanitarian needs in Gaza"....Yes they need rebuilding... but the funding should come out of any aid money budgets the U.S.A. and oher countries give to Israel.

California, USA
March 4, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Graceful, succinct, & compelling comments.

Florida, USA
March 4, 2009

Tom in Florida writes:

Finally! We have a Secretary of State who has the courage and vision to offer up an even handed, though difficult path, to two peoples who must resolve the forever and horrific killing of one another. BOTH factions are wrong-headed and its encouraging to see a well directed multi-capable person at the helm of the U.S. interest and policy...standing tall in Jerusalem. Hillary Clinton is blazing new trails that will lead to peace, if and only if those who seek her assistance are willing to come to the table with open hearts!

Syrian P.
March 4, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Keep on daydreaming and putting up these worthless shows? One day it will all be resolved amicably, when the mushroom clouds falls to the ground. In the meantime, for the next 4 years, hit the nearest Sushi bar and enjoy yourselves, because that is all that will be accomplished, you will just grow fatter and grow longer gray hair, good for Clairol, keeps up the 550 million dollars sales of strawberry blond coloring.

Illinois, USA
March 4, 2009

Ali in Illinois writes:

It seems you only approve comments that agree with U.S. policy or praise the secretary of state. Not very democratic.

New York, USA
March 4, 2009

Martha in New York writes:

Ask the Israeli President about this statement, Hillary:

Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said, "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail." (NY Daily News, Feb. 28, 1994, p.6).

and the Israelis wonder why some Palestinian kids throw toy rockets at them..

Ask him about the burning of the Christian New Testaments in Israel or how a Christian gets jail time for speaking about Jesus Christ.. or how non-Jewish marriages are not recognized..or how there are no Christians left in Bethelem

Israel is run by extremist Orthodox Jews directed by their racist Talmud, Hillary, it's not a democracy.

Where is the devastation in Israel from the last war? The damage to Gaza is obvious.

Confront Jewish hemogeny and the racist Jewish Talmud, and the -- the presumption that they're always have the tenacity, Hillary to make a difference. This is your opportunity, Hillary, to buck the status quo.. we're in a recession-depression, Hillary, and the U.S. gives more than 8 billion a year to Israel and recently a billion to Jewish charities to make up for Madoff, and the U.S. fights their wars for them too--Americans have had enough of sacrificing themselves. You have the force of personality to make change happen, to change history.. (Making History vs. Living History)

I personally challenge you to read the Talmud.


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