Saturday, March 21, 2015

Will U.S. let ‘bad things’ happen to Israel over Netanyahu’s 

 rejection of Palestinian state?

  By Joel Greenberg  March 20, 2015

McClatchy Foreign Staff

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to form a new government after his election victory this week, but already he faces what could be a substantial shift in relations with the United States. For the third straight day, the Obama administration signaled Friday that it remains furious at Netanyahu’s pre-election statement ruling out a Palestinian state while he is prime minister and that it will recalibrate its diplomatic approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Interviews that Netanyahu has given in recent days to try to walk back the no-Palestinian-state statement have not eased President Barack Obama’s anger, and a phone call between the two men on Thursday didn’t clarify Netanyahu’s position, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in Washington. “That was not the result of the call,” Earnest said. Netanyahu’s office did not announce that the call had taken place, a departure from custom. Earnest said Obama had used the same sort of language that Earnest himself has used in recent days to express his dismay at Netanyahu’s pre-election actions. Earnest’s comments left no reason to doubt a wire service report quoting an unnamed official that Obama had told Netanyahu “we will need to reassess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.” “When Prime Minister Netanyahu indicated a weakness in his commitment, and I think that’s putting it charitably, he was indicating a difference of opinion not just with President Obama, but with the policy that was pursued by President Bush, and the policy that is strongly supported by Democrats and Republicans in the United States Congress,” Earnest said. “If that policy foundation has been the driver of policy decisions that are made at the United Nations, it’s important for us to reconsider those kinds of decisions, now that our strongest ally in the Middle East has withdrawn from its commitment to that policy goal.” Read more at MClatchy News

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