Excerpts from a news story from this morning’s Haaretz: “Obama Believes Netanyahu Not interested in Palestinian State.”
“U.S. President Barack Obama said in an interview with Huffington Post on Saturday that he is convinced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
HE JUST FOUND OUT.
“During the interview, Obama expressed his commitment to continuing to work fully with the Israeli government in regards to military and intelligence-related cooperation, but declined to say whether the U.S. would continue to block the Palestinians' unilateral moves in the UN. Obama said that during his conversation with Netanyahu, he told him that due to his statement against a Palestinian state, "It is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible." The U.S., Obama said, would continue to insist on its view that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo is unacceptable. "While taking into complete account Israel's security, we can't just in perpetuity maintain the status quo, expand settlements. That's not a recipe for stability in the region."
TAKE THAT, SAID OBAMA, GENTLY SLAPPING NETANYAHU ON THE WRIST
Obama also commented on Netanyahu's last-minute Election Day "warning" regarding a rise in voting rates among Israel's Arab public. "We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel's tradition," Obama said. That although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly," said Obama. "And I think that that is what's best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don't believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the name of democracy in the country."
“A White House official told Reuters that the U.S. president told Netanyahu “that we will need to reassess our options following the prime minister's new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.” Obama said that in light of Netanyahu's stance, his administration would need to "evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don't see a chaotic situation in the region."
“Obama's spokesman clarified that the U.S.’s “security cooperation” with Israel was not under consideration.”
OBAMA, SMILING GENTLY, WINKS AT NETANYAHU.