President Barack Obama questioned the credibility of a fellow head of state. Interviewed by an Israeli Channel 2 TV network, Obama said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has damaged the credibility of the Jewish state because of his stated position on the Palestinian Authority. In the June 2 interview, Obama said “Well, I think that when he spoke right before the election, he was fairly unequivocal in saying that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership.” 
 
The president continued, saying “As long as he was prime minister, there wouldn’t be two states," adding, "I think subsequently, his statements have suggested that there is the possibility of a Palestinian state, but it has so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met any time in the near future. And so the danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility.”
 
When Netanyahu was campaigning for re-election in March of this year, he said that a Palestinian state would not be a possibility so long as he is in power. Despite criticism from the Obama administration, and advocates of the Palestinian side of the debate, Netanyahu reiterated this week his commitment to a two-state solution so long as Israel can keep the territory it wants as part of an agreement. Palestine is opposed.
 
Relations between two leaders has been rocky. Netanyahu, for example, effectively endorsed the failed candidacy of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. And this year, Netanyahu famously said that the agreement currently being worked out by the U.S. and its allies with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program is a “bad deal.” Netanyahu was invited to speak to a joint session of Congress, where he explained his position. Neither Obama or Vice President Joseph Biden attended, while prominent Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi were vocally critical of the Israeli premier.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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