Thursday, March 18, 2010

Political umbrage in Washington?



By Robert Grenier, Al Jazeera, March 17, 2010


Despite a temporary freeze, construction on settlements, such as the one in Har Gilo, just outside of Jerusalem, has continued with little interruption [EPA]

The announcement last week by Eli Yishai, the Israeli interior minister, of plans to construct an additional 1,600 Israeli homes in East Jerusalem, appears to have generated quite the diplomatic row.

Coming as it did just before the start of a dinner offered by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, in honour of Joe Biden, the US vice-president, the announcement threw the White House official into high dudgeon.

The US delegation must have burned up the proverbial phone lines between Israel and the West Wing of the White House, while Biden’s Israeli host was kept waiting some 90 minutes until the vice-president and the Washington crowd could come up with suitable language to express their outrage.

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