Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press on March 22, Israeli Ambassador told host Chuck Scott that Israel continues to hold to a two-state solution to the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This came in response to concerns raised in the U.S. that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had appeared to say that he would not permit a Palestinian state. Since his landslide election on March 17, Netanyahu has apparently walked back from that position and said that "circumstances will have to change."
In an interview with the Huffington Post, President Barack Obama said that he took Netanyahu "at his word" that he does not support the erection of a Palestinian state - apparently dismissing the Israeli premier's clarifications. Obama said that he is reassessing the United States historic relationship with Israel as a result. Netanyahu has been a sharp critics of the Obama administration's negotiation with Iran over the latter's nuclear weaponization program. Netanyahu has famously referred to it as a "bad deal" that goes against the interests of Israel, and the United States. a that Netanyahu has softened his stance since winning reelection Tuesday.
“We take him at his word when he said 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. The president said that he made his position clear in a congratulatory telephone call to Netanyahu last week. Obama added, “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 are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.”
Ambassador Dermer said that his government is focused on Israel's security. When asked what is his response to Obama's statement, Ambassador Dermer said "He didn't say what the president and others seem to suggest that he's saying," Dermer replied. "And he was very clear about it in his interview with Andrea Mitchell. He didn't change his position. He didn't run around giving interviews saying he's now against the Palestinian state."
Ambassador Dermer averred that "circumstances over the last few years" have changed, with regard to regional security. "We have a collapse of a 100-year order in the Middle East. And militant Islam is charging into the void. That's the first thing that changed," he explained. Dermer said that his country is not "in favor of a Palestinian state that will continue to wage war against Israel."
Israel's concerns over Obama's deal-making with the Islamic Republic of Iran were piqued on March 22. Netanyahu sent his top negotiators to Paris for talks with the French foreign ministry. According to a Reuters report, Israel appears to have concluded that the French position as to the Iranian nuclear program more closely adheres to Israel's and at a time when relations with the United States are at an all-time low. French officials appear to agree with Israel that the deal being worked out between the Obama administration and Iran would be far too lenient. The deal proposed by France would have a duration of 25 years, rather than Obama deal that would expire in a decade. In any event, Republicans have vowed that Obama's deal would be void should his successor be a Republican.
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