Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during the 2010 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference March 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Clinton this morning. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

By Mark Memmott

New home construction by Israel in east Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines the Middle East process and "exposes daylight between Israel and the United States that others in the region hope to exploit," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said this morning in an address to the the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a powerful lobbying organization.

Clinton also said that "both Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from unilateral statements and actions" that endanger the peace process.

Her comments follow, of course, the diplomatic flap of recent weeks that began when Israeli authorities announced -- during a visit to their country by Vice President Joe Biden -- plans for more homes in east Jerusalem.

Clinton said at that time that it was "insulting" for Israel to make such an announcement while Biden was there trying to get the peace process restarted.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington to address AIPAC and to meet with President Barack Obama.

Here are audio clips of Clinton urging both sides to avoid provocative words and deeds ...

... and warning against more construction in disputed territories ...

Update at noon ET, March 30: The word "disputed" has been deleted from the post -- previously we said "disputed east Jerusalem." That word is unnecessary.

categories: Foreign News, Foreign Policy, Obama Administration

11:25 - March 22, 2010