President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon "that we will need to reassess our options following the prime minister's new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution."
Netanyahu was recently re-elected as Prime Minister of Israel. Some claim that he won based on a last minute change of policy regarding Palestine.
Netanyahu denied these claims in an interview with the Fox News Channel. He told Megyn Kelly, “I didn't retract any of the things I said in my speech six years ago, calling for a solution in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes a Jewish state.”
He continued, “I said that the conditions for that, today, are not achievable for a simple reason: Abu Mazen, the leader of the Palestinians, rejects consistently the acceptance of a Jewish state.” He did leave open the possibility of a two state system, but only if “we change the terms.”
Netanyahu’s main focus was getting the Palestinian leadership to negotiate with Israel. “Right now, we have to get the Palestinians to go back to the negotiating table, break their pact with Hamas, and accept the idea of a Jewish state,” he said. “And I think that's what the international community should be focused on.”
After Netanyahu’s interview, the White House says it is not sure where he stands regarding Palestine. Obama did finally call Netanyahu to congratulate him on his re-election, though.
An edited transcript of Obama’s call was given to the press. It read, “The President emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries. The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that nuclear negotiations with Iran in Switzerland have come to a standstill. Iran demanded that the UN scale back on the economic sanctions placed on them while cutting their nuclear program.
Netanyahu supported this economic pressure and urged the White House to “keep on pressing.” He added, “There's a lot of leverage that the United States can use on Iran and I hope it uses it because right now, for coming to this deal, would get Iran an easy path to the bomb. And that would happen. Not by violating by the deal but by keeping the deal, in a few years.”
While some view the negotiations and Iran’s pledge as a good sign, former CIA Director David Petraeus said that he think Iran is a bigger threat to the US than ISIS is.
He told the Washington Post, “I would argue that the foremost threat to Iraq’s long-term stability and the broader regional equilibrium is not the Islamic State. Rather, it is Shiite militias, many backed by – and some guided by – Iran.”
Sources: Daily Mail / Photo Source: Daily Mail