Administration's Dressing Down of Israel is a 'Gross Overreaction'

New York, NY, March 12, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today said it was shocked and stunned by the Administration's public dressing down of Israel by saying it had "undermined trust and confidence in the peace process, and in America's interests," as related by Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley in his daily briefing. Crowley was referring to the announcement about future building in Jerusalem made during Vice President Joe Biden's Israel visit.

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.

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 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 was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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