QUESTION: Come to the Middle East peace process for one second...Is the – I mean, because we are coming to a head on this thing by September. Is – how related to the Arab Spring or whatever you want to call it is the Middle East peace process? And how could it – if you believe that – how could it affect it in adverse or positive ways?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think a lot of it is sequencing, Jeff. I mean, right now, people in Egypt, for example, are very focused on their own future. That doesn’t mean that the Arab-Israeli conflict doesn’t come up, because it came up when I was there, but it didn’t come up as the only subject people wanted to talk to me about, which was sometimes the case in the past. It came up as, “Okay, for now we’re going to honor the Camp David accords ['for now'? or are there already voices calling for a review or worse? and is there sabotage directed at the oil line? and will the Rafah border crossing be opened in an unsupervised way?], but you know we’re going to have to take a look at this when we get a new government and we get more stable, we figure out what our relationship really is. We’re not going to be an automatic supporter of the peace process [why not 'automatic'? it is a signed internagtional treaty?]. But right now, we got to get our economy going, we got to get our political transition done.”
So it’s not like it’s off the table. It’s just stuck on a corner until other matters get tended to. But if you talk to King Abdullah of Jordan, it is still very much on the mind of Jordanians because they live with it every single day. And I --
QUESTION: So lack of progress could have an adverse effect on --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, here’s – I mean, this is nothing that I haven’t said many times and said it with my Israeli friends because I love Israel and I feel so strongly about the future. Right now, you have a secular leadership in the West Bank [that prays at every official cabinet meeting] that has made economic progress and has made security progress. You have an uncertain environment that Israel is now having to cope with, and I do not in any way discount how difficult that is because I think it is – it has been very challenging for understandable reasons – what is happening in Egypt, you’ve seen Israeli commentators saying they’re not so sure that change in Syria is in Israel’s interest [???].
...I still believe it is very much in Israel’s interests and Israel’s security to really turn their attention to the peace process and to hammer out an agreement under appropriate safeguards for Israel’s security with the Palestinian Authority.
QUESTION: One final thing on that subject: The – about four years ago, I interviewed you in the, I guess, Russell Building in your – one of your previous iterations. And you were talking about Israel and how to get them to make the concessions necessary for peace. One of the things you said that really struck me was that in your understanding of the Israeli mindset, the Israelis will move on these issues when they feel the warm embrace of the United States --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.
QUESTION: -- when they know that somebody is behind them. And when they feel alienated from the United States, as they did for the first couple years of this Administration – I mean, with the government, at least – they’re less apt to move. Does that still hold true or has the prime minister, the current prime minister, shown no desire to move with a warm embrace or without a warm embrace?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I think he has some very serious concerns that have to be addressed. But I would just --
QUESTION: National security concerns or coalitions?
SECRETARY CLINTON: National security and – I mean, I think that’s the first and foremost of his concerns. But obviously, he’s in politics. I’ve been in politics. You also have to worry about your political position. But this Administration, the Obama Administration, has probably done more for Israeli security in as short a period of time as any administration in the past. The kind of assistance and support that we have given to Israel in order to assuage some of the legitimate security concerns that Israel has, the work that we are doing to try to contain Iran, the sanctions that we, much to everyone’s amazement, were able to negotiate, the pressure that we’ve brought to bear on Iran – we have really been closely coordinating on key issues that are fundamental to Israel’s security. So I think that that has to be the way we’re judged, because we certainly have delivered on that.
QUESTION: Why don’t they feel a warmth?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I – I mean, I have a great time whenever I go there, so – (laughter) --
I think Hillary is belittling the situation and, if we are to stick with the element of warmth, is trying to pull the wool of our eyes.