Thursday, March 05, 2009

Clinton in Israel

Glenn Kessler has an interesting piece on what exactly is going on this week between Hillary Clinton and Israeli officials. Apparently the Clinton people effectively tell the American reporters that the meetings are very cordial and that Clinton is not criticizing or pressuring the Israelis. But the Israeli press is getting a very different story from Israeli officials, who say Clinton is pressing them hard to negotiate a political solution with Palestinians and for increased aid access to Gaza.

Who knows what's actually going on. It's kind of odd for a U.S. official to claim they are being easier on another country than they are; so often it's the other way (i.e. a U.S. administration will say it is pressing China hard on human rights, when in fact it is prioritizing economic issues). With Israel, it could indeed be this opposite situation Kessler suggests. Clinton could be worried about the backlash back home from the lobby but actually be doing and saying some of the right things over there. Let's hope so.


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