Simon Wiesenthal Center: Obama Administration Overreach Has Contributed to Worst Crisis in Arab/Israeli Relations in Twenty Years

LOS ANGELES, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Simon Wiesenthal Center said today it feared that the Obama Administration contributed to helping cause what has been described as the worst crisis in Arab/Israeli relations in twenty years.

"There is no question that Israel made a terrible mistake causing Vice President Biden deep embarrassment by the sudden announcement of the Interior Ministry that Israel would be building 1600 apartments in east Jerusalem," said Rabbi Marvin Hier. "But when the three senior officials of the Obama Administration place the blame squarely on Prime Minister Netanyahu, they are overreaching and signaling the entire Arab world that they concur that the single obstacle to peace in the Middle East is building apartments in east Jerusalem and not Palestinian extremism and intransigence."

"It is remarkable that in the last six months, the word that has virtually disappeared from Middle East peacemaking is Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls one and a half million people, 45% of the Palestinian population," Hier continued. "The Obama Administration would be well served to use next week's national AIPAC Conference in Washington to change course and tone down its hostile rhetoric lest such a strategy cause irreparable damage to Middle East peace prospects," he concluded.

About the Simon Wiesenthal Center

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).