Politics

Obama Warns Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Of 'Fallout' If Peace Talks With Palestine Don't Advance

| by Allison Geller

President Barack Obama urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support an agreement with the Palestinians or risk international isolation in an interview with Bloomberg.

Obama said that Netanyahu had the power to gain support from the Israeli public for the agreement.

“If not now, when?" he said, referencing the Jewish sage Rabbi Hillel. "And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?”

Obama condemned Israel’s “aggressive settlement construction,” stating that “international fallout” would be hard to manage if Israel did not agree to a framework to make sovereignty possible.

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The president said that it was up to Netanyahu to propose an alternative if he did not support a peace deal with Palestine.

"It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible,” he said.

He also had a question of the Israeli public.

“Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank?” he asked.

Peace talks between Israel and Palestine began last July. The goal for resolution was set for nine months, but so far progress has been limited.

“Obama will press him to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry,” administration officials were quoted as saying in the New York Times this week.

Sources: Bloomberg View, Times of Israel