Clinton in 2010 E-mail: Israel 'Always Cocky'

Then secretary of state accused Israel of 'always' sounding 'cocky' during a feud between Obama Administration and Israel over construction.

Ari Yashar and Gil Ronen,

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Reuters

Hillary Clinton accused the Jewish state of “always” sounding “cocky” during a major 2010 feud between the Obama Administration and Israel over Jerusalem construction, according to an email she sent to an aide.

Clinton was secretary of state at the time.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that the email had been “recently disclosed” and featured a screenshot of it.

A week before the email – which is dated March 22, 2010 – she had scolded Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a 43-minute phone call, after an Israeli announcement that 1,600 new housing units were being built in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in Jerusalem. The announcement came just as Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel.

The email was a response to aide Jake Sullivan, who informed Clinton that Kim Ghattas, a BBC reporter, told him that the Israelis were “sounding a bit cocky” during a press briefing. Ghattas took this is a sign that it was unlikely that the United States would be able to move them toward an agreement.

Clinton responded thus:

“They always sound cocky – in the air or on the ground.”

Clinton had demanded earlier in the month that Netanyahu reverse the approval of the 1,600 housing units, which had been announced by then-Interior Minister Eli Yishai of Shas, and to make significant gestures towards the Palestinian Authority, in order to spur peace talks.

The Free Beacon noted that Clinton’s attitude towards Israel during the March 2010 crisis does not jibe with what she wrote in her memoir, Hard Choices. In the book, Clinton “attempts to distance herself from the administration’s hard-line stance towards Israeli settlements,” and says that Obama’s demand for a settlement freeze “didn’t work” and that she had “disagreed with Obama and then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on a demand that Israel halt all new settlement construction.”

“I was worried that we would be locking ourselves into a confrontation we didn’t need,” Clinton wrote.

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, MK Michael Oren, said in a recent book on the U.S.-Israel relationship that Clinton refused to have an in-person meeting with him despite his requests during her tenure at the State Department.




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