Jewish World Review March 10, 2010 / 24 Adar 5770
Israel exerts sovereign right to its capital as Biden looks on astounded
By Paul Richter
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) JERUSALEM — In the midst of a high-profile visit by Vice President
Biden, who had come to promote new peace talks and to smooth the Obama administration's strained relations with a longtime ally, instead denounced
"I condemn the decision by the government of
"We must build an atmosphere to support negotiations, not complicate them," Biden said.
The sharp turn of events abruptly changed the tenor of the trip in its second day, coming just hours after the vice president proclaimed his love for
Aides said Biden raised the issue with Israeli Prime Minister
Biden is to deliver a major address on U.S.-Israeli relations on Thursday. He will also meet with Palestinian and Jordanian officials.
However, Israelis sought to downplay any relation between Tuesday's announcement and Biden's visit, saying the housing plans have been years in the making and that Netanyahu, who appeared in public with Biden only hours earlier, had no idea it they were being unveiled.
Nonetheless, the plans by the
Palestinian leaders consider such housing moves a threat to the future Palestinian presence in a city they hope will someday be their capital, and the announcement brought quick protests. Palestinian officials said the announcement was timed to Biden's visit and called for a strong U.S. response.
A spokesman for Palestinian President
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