There was a lot of boiler plate about eternal friendship and the bad Iranians in the Secretary's address to AIPAC, but there was also this:New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides want and need. It exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region could hope to exploit. And it undermines America's unique ability to play a role - an essential role, I might add -- in the peace process. Our credibility in this process depends in part on our willingness to praise both sides when they are courageous, and when we don't agree, to say so, and say so unequivocally.We objected to this announcement because we are committed to Israel and its security, which depends on a comprehensive peace. Because we are determined to keep moving forward along a path that ensures Israel's future as a secure and democratic Jewish state living in peace with its Palestinian neighbors, who can realize their own legitimate aspirations. And because we do not want to see that progress jeopardized. Here's the whole thing: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/03/138722.htm
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.