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AIPAC Lashes Out At Obama Administration Over Israel Statements

Huff Post- First Posted: 03-15-10 09:21 AM   |   Updated: 03-15-10 09:54 AM

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group, released a statement over the weekend lacing into President Obama for what it calls “escalated rhetoric” on the part of the administration in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s push for new housing units in East Jerusalem.

“The Obama Administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel are a matter of serious concern. AIPAC calls on the Administration to take immediate steps to defuse the tension with the Jewish State,” according to the statement. “The Administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests.”

The Israeli plan to add additional housing units in East Jerusalem came during Vice President Joe Biden’s recent trip to the region to help jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Even Netanyahu acknowledged the timing of the announcement was “unfortunate.”

Biden sharply criticized the plan during his trip.

“I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem,” Biden said in a statement last week. “The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I’ve had here in Israel.”

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