Netanyahu: I haven’t changed policy on Palestinian state -MSNBC

(Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Thursday abandoning his commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, backing away from comments he made during his re-election campaign that drew sharp criticism from Israel’s ally the United States.

“I haven’t changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish State,” Netanyahu said in an interview with MSNBC two days after winning a bitterly contested Israeli election.

“What has changed is the reality,” Netanyahu said, citing the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and the Hamas militant group’s continued control of the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu drew a sharp rebuke from the United States and the international community for his comments on the eve of Tuesday’s election that there would be no Palestinian state created on his watch. The quest for Palestinian statehood is a cornerstone of both U.S. diplomacy going back decades and President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy.

On Wednesday, the White House scolded Netanyahu for abandoning his commitment to negotiate for a Palestinian state and for “divisive” campaign rhetoric toward Israel’s minority Arab voters.

Netanyahu backed off his election eve comment on Thursday…

  • WalterBannon

    Netanyahu should NOT back off his election position on Palestinians, he should ESCALATE to an even more hard line position and ACT on it. Expel them.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    There will still be no Palestinian state created on Netanyahu’s watch given the realities on the ground. The so-called international community is trapped in cloud-cuckoo- land.

    • Frau Katze

      The Palestinians don’t want a state…they want the Jews to leave (including those from the Arab world and Iran).

  • Oracle9

    Among all this righteous indignation for those uppity Jews wanting to survive, then we have this op-ed from The Guardian – “Israeli voters ponder bread or bombs”.

    And all this as the US seems like it will no longer exercise its protective veto against Israel by the jackals at the UN.

    We’ll never make it to 2016 without a catastrophe.