March 23rd, 2010
08:03 PM ET

Netanyahu, Obama meet at White House

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held more than two hours of talks Tuesday evening amid a dispute over Israel's decision to build new Jewish housing on disputed land in East Jerusalem.

The Obama administration has pushed to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and has called on Israel to stop building settlements on territory it captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Netanyahu's meeting at the White House came the day after he defended his government's plans to build new housing units in East Jerusalem, a move that has strained ties with Israel's largest ally.

The Israeli leader arrived after a show of solidarity with leaders of Congress from both parties, during which he thanked the U.S. lawmakers for their "constant support" and "unflagging" friendship. "Even though the challenges are immense, our will and our partnership is also immense," Netanyahu said at an appearance with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel and we all know that we're in a difficult moment, but I'm glad the prime minister is here ... so we can have an open and straightforward dialogue about how we can provide more security for our friends in Israel and do everything we can to make sure that the Iranians have no ability to develop a nuclear weapon," Boehner said.

Pelosi told reporters that Congress speaks with "one voice" on the subject of Israel. "Together we remain committed to advancing the peace process, preserving Israel's security, responsible sanctions against Iran," she said.

Netanyahu's visit to Washington comes as Israel and the United States find themselves at odds over Israel's plan to build new housing on disputed land in East Jerusalem - a plan he defended sharply Monday night. Israel's announcement two weeks ago that it plans to build 1,600 apartments in an area claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians came amid an Obama administration push for new Israeli-Palestinian talks, but Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that "The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied."

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Whos the baby killer?

    Don't let Nettie near any schools, he will try to blow them up.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. K2K

    since when did the Palestinians claim Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish neighborhood built on previously empty land? get your facts checked – even the BBC made that point

    March 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. james

    In all these discussions it is never mention in the main media Fox CNN or elsewhere that under the so called Road Map under George W. Bush Israel is suppose to stop all settlements past 1967 borders. That was 2001. Go back further to 1979 and resolution 446. It states "that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East". Go to the 2004 opinion of the International Court of Justice, "That provision [article 49(6)] prohibits not only deportations or forced transfers of population such as those carried out during the Second World War, but also any measures taken by an occupying Power in order to organize or encourage transfers of parts of its own population into the occupied territory" and "concludes that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including East Jerusalem) have been established in breach of international law". We continuously have on CNN for example David Gergen essentially blaming the U.S. and not stating the facts of international law, and nobody on the mainstream media anywhere explaining international law, and Israel's obligations!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. brian

    Israel and its policies are hated by approx more than 50 countrys around the world if not more .... they should be thankful to AMERICA for protecting them and should learn nevr to insult our head of state by the childish action they pulled during his visit to Israel ,

    March 23, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yedidya

    Israel is an independent state and just as we do not dictate the 'goings on' in other places, we do not need to adhere to every foolish whim of cyberspace and agenda focused media.

    March 24, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Robert Glanser

    Israel citizens are getting more funds and assistance and benefits from US government than our very own veterans. We built nuclear facilities for them, gave them the latest technology and protected them with all our mights from sanctions and resolutions and any blames, and what we get as result...A SLAP IN THE FACE of our VP. Now you tell me, who is our friend and who is our foe?
    I want someone to explain to me...and all others who are so puzzled about this....WHY DO WE HAVE TO PUT UP WITH ALL THIS DISGRACE AND IMMORALITY?
    What favor has Israel done to the US that we have to go through all this misery because of a backstabber state like Israel?

    March 24, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan Feldman

    I believe we as Americans need to stand up against policies that put us into "entangling alliances" where they expect us to put ourselves in harms way-whether they may be Saudi Arabia or Israel. It is time that our foreign policy always put America and Americans First and this rejection of illegal settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is a good start.

    March 24, 2010 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Reed

    Our unshakable commitment to Israel is largely based on two very hard facts. Jewish/Israeli scientists, engineers, agriculturists, military intelligence agents and a long list of other important services are interwoven in to the fabric of the US' success in all these fields, where as Palestinian's are not, however unbalanced or unfair that may or may not be. And secondly, Israel is our strategic partner in the volatile Middle East, and until Iraq and/or Afghanistan is secured for US military bases, Israel is our satellite state all too often. Like it or not these are facts. On the surface the US government can be all about human rights, and the implementation of a two state solution, but in the end we are powerless to dictate where the Israelis can build housing or settlements for threat of cutting off their funding because our support is in essence protecting a country that in many ways is a state of the Union. The real reason to stop building settlements should come from the Israelis for their security in the long run, and for the Palestinians to have the dignity of having their own country, and this has to come from the leaders of these two descendants of Ishmael and Isaac, sons of Avram/Ibrahim/Abraham.

    March 24, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Henry Flynn

    Our president is having a talk with the strongest leader on the planet! I wonder is he will learn anything? I doubt it. Netanyahu is rational . Our president is irrational. The two will never see "eye to eye". An irrational person can never understand an irrational person and visa vera! Our president believe that he is smarter than anyone on the planet, so he expects everyone to follow him!

    March 24, 2010 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Weramericans

      Haha strongest leader on foriegn money and protection lol the one who conspires to have others fight their wars. Grow up or go back to ur trailor

      March 26, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. goliath

    U know guys the Gods are with Israel, no matter what happens Israel will stand, at the same time I hope the palistines also get their share and both live happily ever after.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul

    Ladies and Gentleman,

    Let’s get our facts straight. The money comes from Israel itself on the houses being built within the confines of land captured back from Jordan..not the Palestinians during the 67 war. Israel is building homes not a bomb to blow up neighboring countries. What’s the big Deal?! Politics..The have nots are complaining. They are also being enabled by an American President. Israel already has a leader. By the way the money given to Israel are loans and everyone of them have been paid back. Where is Mrs Arafat and her 1.5 billion dollars to build homes for the Palestinians? She has it all living on the island of Corsica! This has not been going on for 2000 years by the way. Palestinians did not exist until 1948. Emperor Titus renamed Philistines…Palestine. It is a Latin word. Please read read history and don’t forget it. Education does help.
    Thank you!

    March 25, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Weramericans

      Education from a evangelical church only helps the anti Christ waiters in line trying to justify israeli crimes with bogus arguments. No need to go anymore back.. Just check ur own moral and the tax that paid for bullets to be lodged into children and innocents in camps of sabra and shatiela or just try to remember the spies Israel is and had Been sending in our govt offices. Grow up please

      March 26, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lateris

    I respectfully disagree with Mr. Obamas policy and will not vote for him in 2012. Not will I vote for any Democrats this November.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |