After her three day public relations visit to Pakistan resulted in her accusing the Pakistani government, a key US ally, of secretly hiding al-Qaeda and left a large number of Pakistanis quite a bit more angry at the US than when she got there, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left the region to head to Israel.
And it wasn’t long before America’s top diplomat was causing problems there as well. Following a high profile meeting with hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Clinton praised the Israeli government’s offer to temporarily delay in new construction permits in the West Bank as “unprecedented,” and chided the Palestinians for demanding an actual halt to construction in the occupied territories.
Now the Palestinains say that Clinton’s visit has in fact undermined what little progress was being made in the first place. PA officials maintain that there is no point in entering negotiations so long as Israel keeps expanding its settlements.
The Obama Administration appeared to previously take a similar position, repeatedly demanding Israel freeze its settlements entirely. Secretary Clinton was at the forefront of making these demands at the time, but now that the Obama Administration has abandoned any pretense of pressuring the Israeli government she appears to have jumped on that bandwagon as well. Her next stop is in Morocco where she will meet with Arab Foreign Ministers.