Following the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama administration is reportedly revisiting its stance on America’s assumed role as a shield for Israel against “international pressure.”
Since Netanyahu walked back his support of a Palestinian state near the end of his campaign, frustrated Obama officials are reportedly considering a change in the role the U.S. has taken of a “shield” for Israel in the face of criticism from international leaders.
“The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,” a senior Obama administration official said. “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward.”
While there is essentially no chance that the U.S. would cut back on financial or military support for Israel, the official said the administration is considering stepping aside and allowing Netanyahu to, according to Politico, “be vulnerable in international forums.”
“I do think the administration is going to look very closely at the possibility of either joining, or at least not blocking an internationally backed move at the U.N. to restate the parameters for ending the conflict,” the official said.
Netanyahu made headlines when, during a campaign speech, he ruled out the possibility of a Palestinian state during his term as Prime Minister. The remarks prompted administration officials to question his commitment to a peace agreement. “To actually come out and say that this construction is actually driven by efforts to undermine a future Palestinian state is fairly dramatic,” the official said. A former Obama official more bluntly stated that Netanyahu has “shown his true colors.”