Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow After Butting Heads with Israel's Foreign Minister

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fractured her right elbow after a fall. Secretary Clinton was on her way to the White House when she fell and injured her elbow, chief of staff Cheryl Mills said in a statement released late Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the Secretary met with Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. The meeting did not go well. More from the Financial Times:

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, clashed face to face with her Israeli counterpart on Wednesday as the two countries remained at loggerheads over the expansion of settlements in occupied territory.

In what appeared one of the most tense encounters between the sides for several years, Mrs Clinton and Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's foreign minister, disagreed on both the US call for a complete freeze on settlement growth and Israel's contention that the administration of George W. Bush, the former president, had signalled that some expansion was permissible.

"We cannot accept this vision about absolutely, com­pletely freezing all settlements," Mr Lieberman said.

In response, Mrs Clinton underlined the US call for a "stop to the settlements", a move she described as "an important and essential part of pursuing the efforts leading to a comprehensive peace agreement".

The meeting at the state department in Washington confirmed that the countries remain at odds on settlements, in spite of the decision of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, to endorse the goal of a Palestinian state. His declaration, which was subject to conditions, followed sustained US pressure.

Wednesday's encounter was all the more significant for Mr Lieberman's record as the leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party, who blasted the previous Israeli government's peace efforts. Mr Lieberman is not seen as a promising interlocutor by Barack Obama's administration, which has instead focused its demands on Mr Netanyahu.

"We must keep the natural growth," Mr Lieberman said on Wednesday, referring to the argument that settlements sometimes need to expand to keep pace with births and marriages.

The US argues that such references to "natural growth" have in fact enabled large-scale settlement growth in the past.

While Mr Lieberman suggested that Israel had reached "some understandings with the previous [Bush] administration" allowing natural growth, Mrs Clinton vigorously rejected such a claim.

"In looking at the history of the Bush administration, there were no informal or oral enforceable agreements," she said. "That has been verified by the official record of the administration and by the personnel in positions of responsibility."

Israel will likely continue to build settlements but it will do so to its own detriment. As the President noted in Cairo, "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." He added that "This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop."

Tags: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Foreign Policy, US-Israeli Relations (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

One point I've made to friends is that we could simply buy the settlements for a lot less than it's costing us otherwise and then sell them to the Palestinians fro $0.30 on the dollar.

Do the math.

100,000 units in the west bank X $150,000 each X 0.7 = $10.5 billion.  From my perspective it's the expedient way to deal with them.

The Win is that the Israeli bankers get paid back and they get to turn around and fund new construction in Israel proper.  The Palestinian upper class gets some nice housing stock cheap. And the US doesn't have to deal with this mess anymore.

by gibbon1 2009-06-17 11:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

A good idea. Somehow I sense the Israeli government would not be agreeable.

by french imp 2009-06-18 12:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

good idea, but how do we force them to sell?  The settlements are about more than just a place for Israelis to live.  They are about crowding out and getting rid of, once and for all, the Palestinians.

I think the should close all settlements altogether and allow the Palestinians a contiguous national border the same as every other nation in the world...but then I am not a fan of Israel to begin with. Don't like how they came in to being.

by Teacher1956 2009-06-18 11:22AM | 0 recs
Natural growth

How about the 'natural growth' of the palestinian population?

Or, for that matter, that of the French population.
Why on Earth don't we people invade Switzerland?

Or again, the Mexican population. By reason sheer natural growth, Mexico should control the South of the US.

by french imp 2009-06-18 12:23AM | 0 recs
Natural growt of the palestinian population?

There hasn't been any natural growth of the Palestinian population permitted under Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing since 1967.

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and 18,147 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.

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Source: Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions - This is the total number of homes demolished from 1967 through 2006.

In addition to the homes demolished by Israel, thousands of Palestinian homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged by Israeli bombing and shelling. On the flip side, while Palestinians have not demolished any Israeli homes, there is one known case of a Palestinian destroying an Israeli home in an explosion.

by MainStreet 2009-06-18 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

Yup!  Got all these dimwitoKrats falling all over the place! First, the strong, independent, superwoman judge. Next, Her high&mightyness HITLERy!  Who's next ... the "bumbler" Biden himself?

by ToldYaSo 2009-06-18 01:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

"dimwitoKrats"

It appears that Michael Savage took a blunt trauma to the head and then created an account on MyDD.  Welcome, Mr. Weiner!

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-06-18 01:11PM | 0 recs
After Butting Heads with Israel's Foreign Minister

Just to get an appreciation of the scope of the problem and just what it is that Israel wants to expand, here's the latest map of the settlements in the West Bank. I recently reported that Israel has plans, both approved and not yet approved plans to DOUBLE the number of settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a substantial percentage "new" settlers.

It is obvious that this settlement issue will make or break the Obama effort at peace. Implementing a two state solution is the crux of Obama's plan to change the Middle East and if he is not even able to stop settlement building, that plan is dead in the water, and goodbye Middle East outreach. The superpower once again gets its tail wagged, to which the Iranians have a right to laugh, along with everyone else.

The settlements:

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by MainStreet 2009-06-18 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Secretary Clinton Fractures Elbow

I'd really like to see us tell Israel to take a hike, to chart their own course over the next eight years.  We have more important things to do than get dragged down by an ally that thinks it has a God-given right to larceny.

by Bob H 2009-06-18 10:37AM | 0 recs
Rock that cast!

HRC is going to look pretty bad-ass with her arm in a sling compared to wimpy-looking ambassadors and other world leaders.

Bush always looked like a weasly little party boy with that stupid "I'm from Texas" smirk. Condi was known for her figure and fashion, but that's about it.

You go, girl!

by KoolJeffrey 2009-06-18 04:54PM | 0 recs

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