Mr. T Posted March 24, 2010 Report Share Posted March 24, 2010 Israel’s survival at stake, Clinton warns Article Here Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, on Monday warned Israel that its survival could be in jeopardy unless it reached a peace deal with the Palestinians. Her warning came in an address to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, and followed days of tension between the US and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The Aipac, a powerful lobby group, recently rebuked the Obama administration for its criticism of Israel over the proposed expansion of a Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem. But Mrs Clinton argued that Washington’s concern for Israel’s ultimate security had led to the clash with Mr Netanyahu. In remarks that earned her one of several standing ovations from an audience of 7,500, she said: “Our commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.” But she received a more guarded response when she outlined the administration’s reasoning behind its push for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. “The conflict with the Palestinians and with Israel’s Arab neighbours ... threatens Israel’s long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state,” she said. Mrs Clinton referred to the “belief among many” that better security and fewer suicide bombings in Israel meant “the status quo can be sustained”. But “the dynamics of demography, ideology, and technology make this impossible”. Citing Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister, she said: “The inexorable mathematics of demography are hastening the hour at which Israelis may have to choose between preserving their democracy and staying true to the dream of a Jewish homeland.” She argued that the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict strengthened “rejectionists” and helped Iran. The ever-evolving technology of war was making it harder to guarantee Israel’s security, she added. “For six decades Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology mean that Israeli families are now at risk far from those borders.” In her speech Mrs Clinton said that US objections to the planned expansion of a settlement in East Jerusalem were not about “wounded pride”. Describing the final status of Jerusalem as an issue to be settled by negotiation between Israel and the Palestinian leadership, she said: “This is about getting to the table, creating and protecting an atmosphere of trust around it and staying there until the job is done.” But some of the tensions were clear in a speech delivered by Howard Kohr, executive director of Aipac. Arguing that it was better for the US to deal with any disagreements with Israel “privately, as is befitting close allies”, he attacked the “specious”, “insidious” and “dangerous” argument that US-Israeli relations rested on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Mrs Clinton used her speech to urge Mr Netanyahu to take concrete steps to aid peace talks with the Palestinians, including “demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza”. The Palestinian leadership and Israel’s Arab neighbours also needed to do more. She underlined Washington’s determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the US drive for “sanctions that will bite”. Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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