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Obama is indifferent to Netanyahu

Posted in World

Published on March 20, 2015 with No Comments

Unlike Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister David Cameron offered personal congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his victory, President Obama took time to respond.

President Obama has not called to congratulate Netanyahu, who is now attempting to build a coalition between rightwing parties and his own Likud, which won decisively in parliamentary elections.

But the White House said it would be forced to re-evaluate its policy on the Middle East peace process after Netanyahu abandoned a prior commitment to an independent Palestinian state, apparently to shore up support among conservatives in Israel.

Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, reaffirmed the president’s belief in the two-state solution, and strongly condemned Netanyahu’s decision to rally support with remarks about a high turnout among Israeli Arab voters. Netanyahu used a video on election day to warn that Israeli Arabs were being bussed to the polls “in droves”.

“The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalise Arab Israeli citizens,” Earnest said. “It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.” He added: “Rhetoric that seeks to marginalise one segment of their population is deeply concerning, it is divisive, and I can tell you that these are views the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis.”Earnest said the president would call Netanyahu “in the coming days”, but played down suggestions that the delay was itself a rebuke. In two previous Israeli elections, Earnest said, Obama did not telephone Netanyahu until the PM was directed by the Israeli president to form a government.




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