“This is not just another few houses in Jerusalem or another hilltop in the West Bank,” Daniel C. Kurtzer, a former American ambassador to Israel, asserted after Israel’s initial announcement of settlement plans in late November. “This is one of the most sensitive areas of territory, and I would hope the United States will lay down the law.”
But the Obama administration appears to be unwilling to do so. With Israel’s newest settlement plans announced Wednesday, all members of the United Nations Security Council issued statements condemning the construction – all except the United States. Though a State Department spokesperson said Tuesday after Israel’s newest announcement that the US is “deeply disappointed” in Israel’s “pattern of provocation,” the Obama administration, after a positive start, has proven every bit as craven in standing up to Israel as its predecessors.
The same day Israel made its Nov. 30 announcement regarding E1 and plans for 3,000 new settlement units around the West Bank and East Jerusalem, I saw photos of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoying an evening with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and long-time stalwarts of the Israel lobby in Washington. She made a moderate expression of concern regarding new Israeli settlement activity, but there was certainly no laying down of the law.