US may stop supporting Israel at UN Security Council: White House

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

Washington's unwavering support for Tel Aviv at the United Nations could be jeopardized after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he opposed the formation of a Palestinian state, American officials say.

The White House said Wednesday the US may not use its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to shield Israel from unfavorable resolutions, a dramatic shift in a decades-old US policy.

The US would reevaluate its approach based on Netanyahu's “change in his position,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

“The United States and this administration are deeply concerned by divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize 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.”

Netanyahu said on Monday that if he is re-elected to office, the Palestinians would not get the independent state they seek in the occupied West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Gaza.

The Israeli prime minister made the comments before he won Tuesday’s election.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo)


US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said the reevaluation in US policy could include a shift in position at the UN.

“The prime minister's recent statements call into question his commitment to a two-state solution,” Psaki told reporters. “We're not going to prejudge what we would do if there was a UN action.”

A senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Netanyahu “needs to understand that there are policy ramifications for the way he did this,” referring to his rejection of the two-state policy.

The Obama administration is angry at Netanyahu for accepting a Republican invitation to address Congress on March 3 about Iran’s nuclear energy program without consulting the White House as well as excessive Israeli lobby interference in American foreign policy.

Israel faces deepening tension and isolation in its relations with the US and Europe over Netanyahu’s opposition on the formation of a Palestinian state.

Nevertheless, America's support for Israel still has strong bipartisan backing in Congress, which is not likely to change. The US provides Israel over $3 billion in annual military aid as well as other forms of assistance.


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