The White House told press that the US will not condone Israel’s settlement activity on Wednesday; the same day that the US House of Representatives approved $200 million to help deploy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The 212-206 vote passed on Wednesday, December 8th, only days after peace process negotiations seemed to come to a stand-still.
Democratic Representative Steve Rothman of New Jersey told the AFP that, “This is only the latest example that when it comes to defense, military, and intelligence cooperation, the relationship between the US and Israel has never been stronger.”
The IDF is already prepared with a list of positions along Israel’s borders with the Gaza Strip and Lebanon where the new missile system, which incorporates a launcher, radar and command post, can be employed.
“This funding sends a strong message to both our enemies and allies, by providing more total dollars that ever before toward these rocket and missile defense programs,” he continued.
But while Mr. Rothman expressed a sentiment that the United States is happily backing the Isareli government, the US State Department seemed to be sending a completely different message to the press. On the same day US congress pledged millions of dollars to the Israeli defense department, State Department spokesman, Philip J Crowley, told the press that the United States was rather unhappy with Israeli policy.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements, and we will continue to express that position,” said Crowley.
In fact, the Obama administration threw its hands up in the air, abandoning its attempts to persuade Israel to reign in settlement construction in the West Bank in return for American certain political, diplomatic and security support.
While the United States has declared the intention to continue their efforts to reach a agreement in the Middle East peace negotiations, direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are still on hold.