Sunday, March 14, 2010

AIPAC: White House statements on Israel 'a matter of serious concern'

(The Hill).The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which begins its annual meeting a week from today in Washington, called the Obama administration's lashing of Israel in recent days "a matter of serious concern."

The White House has been on the offensive since construction of 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem was approved during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week. On Sunday, White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod became the latest administration figure to publicly rebuke Israel, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the move was an "affront," an "insult" and "very, very destructive."

This follows statements by Biden and the State Department, and a 43-minute phone call from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, berating the leader over the "insult."

"The Obama Administration's recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern," AIPAC said in a statement Sunday. "...The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.

"The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran's rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and all her Arab neighbors."