White House to Reevaluate Backing For Israel At UN
White House slams Netanyahu for statements opposing Palestinian state, threatens pulling UN veto of PA recognition.
On Wednesday, March 18 State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, alluded that the administration might change their policies and support at the UN towards Israel because of Netanyahu’s campaign comments. Early Thursday a senior administration official told ABC News that Obama is considering supporting a UN Security Council Resolution backing a Palestinian state based on Israel’s pre-1967 borders with “land swaps.” The official expressed, “Based on PM Netanyahu’s comments we will need to reevaluate our position and the way forward. We’re not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the U.N. Security Council.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest seemed to reiterate that position publicly during Thursday’s press briefing. Earnest pointed out “after the comments, it’s pretty clear that Israel is no longer committed to [a two-state solution].” Earnest further expressed, “This commitment to a two-state solution has been the bedrock of a lot of U.S. policy…Now the prime minister of Israel says earlier this week, days before an election, that this is a principle he no longer subscribes to, that his nation no longer subscribes to, that means the United States needs to rethink our approach.” Earnest also again criticized Netanyahu’s remark on Israeli Arab voters from election day “That cynical election day tactic was a pretty transparent effort to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens and their right to participate in their democracy.”
Despite compromising his strong stance at home, Netanyahu could not please the White House, who essentially responded that they do not believe the prime minister is sincere. The White House is still planning as The Times of Israel explains, to “re-evaluate their approach to the peace process.” Psaki speaking at the State Department briefing on Thursday, said “Prime Minister Netanyahu was the prime minister three days ago as well… We believe he changed his position three days ago.”
The Obama administration’s threatening tactic seemed to be working, the Israeli leader spoke to two American media outlets, Fox News and MSNBC trying to clarify what he said in the campaigns last moment. In both interviews, Netanyahu seemed to be backtracking on his words disavowing a Palestinian state on his watch all in the name of “mending ties” with the US.
Netanyahu gave another interview to Fox News later in the day, where he said he “hoped” Obama not support a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state by the UN Security Council. Netanyahu stated, “I hope that’s not true, and I think that President Obama has said time and time again, as I’ve said, that the only path to a peace agreement is an agreement, a negotiated agreement.
“You can’t impose it. You can’t force the people of Israel – who’ve just elected me by a wide margin, to bring them peace and security, to secure the State of Israel – to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the State of Israel. I don’t think that’s the direction of American policy. I hope it’s not.”
‘What [Bibi] said was this: “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to radical Islam against the state of Israel.” The key word is “today.” Today.’
And yet the meme going ’round the world is that Netanyahu said that there would be NO Palestinian state on his watch.