March 22, 2010
Posted: 1733 GMT
Hello from the newsroom,
When Hillary Clinton appeared for a speech today at the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC, there were fears she might get booed.
America and Israel, after all, have been having some public disagreements lately. Washington made no secret of the fact that it was insulted when Israel announced new settlements in East Jerusalem just as Vice-President Joe Biden was sitting down for dinner with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
But there were cheers from the audience the U.S. Secretary of State reaffirmed that America's "commitment to Israel's security and Israel's future is rock solid."
That said, Mrs. Clinton laced her praise with a rebuke: the status quo in the Middle East is "unsustainable," she said. The U.S does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, she added.
The Israeli Prime Minister, who is in Washington, is scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama Tuesday. All this is taking place against the backdrop of violence in the West Bank and the death of two Palestinian teen-agers, shot during demonstrations.
We are live in Washington with the latest on U.S.-Israeli relations. We will also go live to Jerusalem for more on the renewed violence.
Speaking of Washington, President Obama is no doubt celebrating a major political victory today: the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a major healthcare reform bill. This was the centerpiece of Mister Obama's political agenda over the last year. What does its passage say about his political power just as his ratings are dipping among the general public?
Also today, we go live to Paris for analysis of this week-end's bruising political defeat for French president Nicolas Sarkozy. His party was thrashed in week-end regional elections. If this was a referendum on Mr. Sarkozy's popularity, the French leader might consider getting a bit worried. Presidential elections in 2012 aren't that far off.
Those stories and the rest of the day's top news, business and sports headlines, as always!
See you at the IDesk,
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