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      Netanyahu: Let’s Not Get Carried Away’ with US Crisis

      After Biden and Clinton publicly chewed out Netanyahu for continuing to build homes for Jews, the Prime Minister told the Cabinet, "Calm down."
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 3/14/2010, 12:05 PM / Last Update: 3/14/2010, 12:20 PM

      Flash 90

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to calm down the political crisis with the United States and told the Cabinet Sunday morning “not to get carried away and to calm down” following an unprecedented public rebuke from top American officials.

      In what a UPI analyst headlined “Biden's Operation Boondoggle,” the Vice President’s arrival in Israel last week coincided with a government announcement for construction of previously-approved housing for Jews in the  Jewish Ramat Shlomo neighborhood bordered on all sides by the densely populated Jewish neighborhoods of Sanhedria, Ramot Eshkol, French Hill and Ramot.

      The United States considers the area, along with Gilo, Ramot and other outlying Jerusalem neighborhoods, to be part of a future Palestinian Authority state, and U.S. President Barack Obama has called them “settlements.” Ramot alone has over 40,000 residents.

      Virtually every Israeli leader in the entire political spectrum, except for Arab legislators, has repeatedly stated that a final agreement for a PA state cannot include all of the area that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.  

      However, Vice President’s Biden’s condemnation of the plan for 1,600 more housing units, followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s publicly charging that it “undermines” American policy, have whipped up Arab protests in the street and in the political realm.

      Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized to Biden over the timing of the announcement, which he said was done without his knowledge, and thought the issue was a tempest in a teapot. However, Clinton (pictured), who previously has referred to Jews with a crude and racist epithet, surpassed him the following day with her public condemnation.

      Sunday morning, the Prime Minister ordered an inquiry into the timing of the ministerial statement on the housing at Ramat Shlomo. 

      Virtually all foreign and Israeli media have placed Israel in a bad light for ostensibly upsetting American plans to mediate between the PA and Israel for a new Arab state within Israel’s borders. However, an “editor-at-large” for UPI, which generally reports with less bias than other news agencies, wrote that the “anemic Middle East 'peace process' is beginning to look like The Fool's Errand.”

      Commentator Arnaud de Borchgrave explained that what neither U.S. President Barack Obama nor his vice president seemed to realize was that Netanyahu and his supporters “were deeply aggrieved when the U.S. president went to Cairo last June 4 for an address to the Muslim world without stopping in Israel on the way home….

      “Obama's background, his middle name Hussein, his Muslim father and Muslim stepfather, and his associations with Arabs and Muslims have made the 44th president of the United States an object of derision and contempt among many Jews. They have assumed since Day One, correctly, he wanted Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem dismantled to make room for what [former President George W.] Bush called "a contiguous and viable Palestinian state."

      De Borchgrave revealed that following Biden's displeasure with the announcement of new construction at Ramat Shlomo (pictured), the Prime Minister inadvertently broke the glass of a framed document the vice president had given him. The document was a certificate that several trees were planted in Jerusalem in memory of the vice president's mother, who Biden said was a strong supporter of Israel.