Obama Says Rift with Netanyahu over Policy rather Personal

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2015 (WAFA) – The United States President Barack Obama insisted Tuesday that his disagreements with Israel’s newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stem from a substantial policy difference rather personal animosity, according to AFP.

“The issue is a very clear, substantive challenge,” Obama told reporters at a joint White House news conference with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.

“We believe that two states is the best path forward for Israel’s security, for Palestinian aspirations and for regional stability,” he remarked. “That’s our view and that continues to be our view. And Prime Minister Netanyahu has a different approach.”

Obama denied it was a matter of personal animosity between himself and Netanyahu, describing their notoriously cold relations as “businesslike.”

Nonetheless, he said the US still supports the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and that he would take the issue up with Netanyahu’s government once it is formed.

“This is a matter of figuring out how we get through a knotty policy difference that has great consequences for both countries and the region,” he said.

“What we can’t do is pretend that there’s the possibility of something that’s not there, and we can’t continue to premise our public diplomacy based on something everyone knows is not going to happen,” Obama said in reference to the Middle East peace process.

Prior to Israel’s March 17 elections, which saw Netanyahu rise head office for a fourth term, he said he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state if he was re-elected, falling behind his acceptance six years ago of a two-state solution.

Few days after he was elected, the Israel premier softened the impact of his pre-election controversial statements regarding the two-state solution and his racist rhetoric against Palestinians in Israel, saying he wanted a two-state solution, with few circumstances that have to change.