In a stunning departure from 62 years of U.S.-Israel relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the Quartet in Moscow to issue a statement which "condemns the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in east Jerusalem." There was no condemnation for Arabs building housing units in their neighborhoods.
"Condemnation" is the harshest reprimand in the diplomatic arsenal and usually reserved for sponsors of terror and the worst human rights offenders. The U.S. has never employed this censure to a housing plan.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went against the wishes of his own coalition government to meet President Obama's demands. The Israeli prime minister accepted a 10-month freeze on all development in the West Bank, a step which the U.S. hailed as "unprecedented." Jerusalem was never included in the moratorium.The housing plan which is the subject of such harsh condemnation is in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood between two other Jewish neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem. The Arab population in Jerusalem is growing and their communities in Jerusalem are building to accommodate the growth.
There has been an outpouring of bi-partisan criticism of the administration's escalation of the verbal assault on Israel.