American Condemnations of Obama-Biden Criticism of Israel

The Anti-Defamation League announced its “shock,” and two Congressmen criticized, the Obama Administration’s public lashing-out at Israel.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:50

Obama speaking last year with Netanyahu
Obama speaking last year with Netanyahu
Israel news photo: White House

The Anti-Defamation League announced on Friday its “shock,” and two Congressmen criticized, the Obama Administration’s public lashing-out at Israel.

The ADL said it was “shocked and stunned by the Administration's public dressing down of Israel,” and that the Obama government had "undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America's interests."

Two U.S. Congress members added their criticism of the Obama-Biden position as well.

Anti-Defamation League
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

“We are shocked and stunned at the Administration's tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem. We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States. One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go in distancing itself from Israel in order to placate the Palestinians in the hope they see it is in their interest to return to the negotiating table.”

Foxman added that the timing of the criticism was particularly worrisome: “It is especially troubling that this harsh statement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly and privately explained to Vice President Biden the bureaucratic nature in making the announcement of proposed new building in Jerusalem, and Biden accepted the prime minister's apology for it. Therefore, to raise the issue again in this way is a gross overreaction to a point of policy difference among friends.”

The Palestinian Authority is simply not interested in Israel’s peace overtures, Foxman summed up: “The Administration should have confidence and trust in Israel, whose tireless pursuit for peace is repeatedly rebuffed by the Palestinians and whose interests remain in line with the United States.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, says it is “the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.” It has 30 regional offices in the United States, with branches in Israel, Russia and Italy as well.

Berkley and Boehner
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) said that the tough American criticism of Israel’s Jerusalem housing announcement was an "irresponsible overreaction," and a spokesman for Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House of Representatives minority leader, said that "the tone and substance we are seeing emerge as a pattern for this administration [regarding Israel] are both disappointing and of great concern."

NCYI: Only Israel
Earlier, the National Council of Young Israel issued a statement condemning the Obama-Biden lashing-out at Israel, noting that neither the PA nor the U.S., but only Israel, has a say in the future development of Jerusalem.

In related news, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said today that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the plenary speaker on the closing day of the group's March 21-23 conference. Vice President Joe Biden addressed AIPAC last year. Other speakers this year will include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni.