Take-Backs

Netanyahu Stands by Settlements

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu defended Israel's right to build settlements in Jerusalem, days after apologizing for announcing the settlements during Joe Biden's diplomatic visit. In a fiery speech to pro-Israel lobby AIPAC Monday night, Netanyahu said the new housing projects were not in any violation of any commitment he had made. "The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today. Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital," Netanyahu said. He also responded to American Jews who have objected to the strain in U.S.-Israeli relations. "The future of the Jewish state can never depend on the good will of even the greatest of men. Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself," he said, before thanking President Obama and Congress for military cooperation. Earlier Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Netanyahu to take steps such as "demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity, and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza."