Obama slams Netanyahu over Palestine statehood

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama in an interview with The Huffington Post conducted on Friday.

US President Barack Obama has warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his opposition to a Palestinian state and for making racist comments about Arabs living in the occupied territories.

In a videotaped interview with The Huffington Post conducted on Friday and released on Saturday, Obama said he told Netanyahu during a phone conversation on Thursday that he has foreclosed the chance for peace in the region.

“I indicated to him that given his statements prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible,” Obama said.

Netanyahu said on Monday that if he was 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, which has been a key element of US foreign policy.

The president said he believes Netanyahu is opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state despite several attempts by the Israeli premier to walk back on his comments.

“We take him at his word that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, 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,” Obama said.

Experts called Netanyahu's provocative statement about Palestine statehood a desperate appeal to Israeli extremists for votes.

“We can’t just in perpetuity maintain the status quo, expand settlements — that’s not a recipe for stability in the region,” Obama said in the interview.

The US president criticized Netanyahu for a Facebook posting in which he warned that Arabs living in the occupied territories were going to the polls “in droves,” an assertion widely interpreted as racist and meant to suppress voters.

Obama’s remarks were an unusually forceful and public condemnation of its top ally. His comments were the latest evidence that the toxic relationship between the White House and the Zionist regime has reached a new low.

On Thursday, the White House raised the prospect of removing critical US diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, following Netanyahu's divisive victory.

Obama administration officials have said the United States is now considering signing on to a UN resolution which supports a Palestinian state.

Such a move would represent a major shift in US foreign policy regarding the Israeli relations, the likes of which has not been seen in decades.


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