Obama Calls Out Netanyahu for Comments on Palestinian Statehood

NEW YORK, March 22, 2015 (WAFA) – United States President Barack Obama said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had made it hard for people to “seriously believe” peace negotiations are possible.

During an interview with The Huffington Post, Obama reproached Netanyahu for his recent comment that there would be no Palestinian state under his leadership, adding that the latter’s comments about Arabs could threaten to ‘erode the meaning of democracy’ in the country.

Prior to Tuesday’s election last week, the Likud leader told a radio station that there would ‘indeed’ be no Palestinian state under his watch. He posted an infamous Facebook tirade where he accused left-wing parties of “bussing in Arab voters” and warned of Arab voters’ heavy participation in voting.

Obama said: ‘We continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic. And I indicated to him that, given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people seriously believe the negotiations are possible.’

Obama made it clear he was taking Netanyahu’s pre-election comments seriously. ‘We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,’ Obama said.

‘And so, that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.” He added, “But we are going to continue to insist that from our point of view, the status quo is unsustainable, and that 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.’