March 4, 2009
Just hours after blaming Hamas and other terror groups for the lack of peace in the region, visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled that while it may recognize the source of the obstruction, that won't stop the Obama Administration from pushing for the rapid creation of a Palestinian Arab state.
Clinton told reporters in Jerusalem that she and President Barack Obama plan to be "vigorously engaged" in bringing about the birth of "Palestine," adding that "there is no time to waste."
That is likely to put Clinton and Obama at odds with incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has refused to commit to the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, and instead wants to focus on bettering the economic conditions under which the Palestinian Arabs live.
Netanyahu met with Clinton on Tuesday, and indicated in remarks to the press that the two had found some common ground. However, few expect relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments to be smooth.
On Wednesday Clinton all but guaranteed that her government will clash with Netanyahu's when she suggested in a joint press conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that for Washington, the division of Jerusalem is a foregone conclusion.
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Clinton said she was not pleased with the Jerusalem municipality's plans to demolish 80 Arab homes on the city's eastern side that were built without proper permits.
"Clearly this kind of activity is unhelpful and not in keeping with the obligations entered into under the 'road map'," said Clinton. "It is an issue that we intend to raise with the government of Israel and the government at the municipal level in Jerusalem."
Israel, of course, officially rejected those parts of the "road map" peace plan that attempted to equate Israel's sovereignty over the eastern half of Jerusalem to its settlement-building activity in the rest of Judea and Samaria.
Clinton's remarks suggested that the Obama administration does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the eastern half of Jerusalem any more than it does in the so-called "West Bank."
Observers argued that she also legitimized lawlessness on the part of eastern Jerusalem's Arab populations by suggesting that they are not subject to the authority of the Jerusalem municipality.
In related news, Jerusalem police officials confirmed to WorldNetDaily and Israel National News this week that Palestinian Authority police forces are being permitted to operate on the outskirts of the Israeli capital.
Israeli police have given Palestinian police the green light to take over public security in Arab villages and neighborhoods on the eastern edges of Jerusalem, and Israeli Jews have been warned to now steer clear of those areas.
Read it all here.
A Palestinian State would at least make it possible for Palestinians to develop industries and to improve their standard of living. However, such an entity would have to guarantee the protection of the Christian minority in Palestine (though I doubt this concerns Hillary Clinton.)