Obama Says Israel Placing Future Of Peace Talks In Peril
Obama Says Israel Puts Peace Talks In Peril
President Barack Obama said in an interview on Israeli television that it is has become difficult to defend Israel at the United Nations without the credible prospect of peace talks and criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for placing so many conditions on talks that it makes any agreement hard.
Obama said that Netanyahu’s statements included “so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met anytime in the near future” and that the “danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility.
“Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution. The statement the prime minister made compounded this belief. Up until this point we have pushed away against European efforts for example, or other efforts. Because we’ve said, the only way this gets resolved is if the two parties worked together,” he told an Israeli television show.
“If in fact, there’s no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there’s a peace process, then it becomes more difficult, to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation, it’s more difficult for me to say to them, ‘Be patient. Wait, because we have a process here,’ because all they need to do is to point to the statements that have been made to say, ‘There is no process.'”
The comments come amid discussion of a potential U.N. resolution proposed by France; the resolution would have France and potentially other countries unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state if peace talks are not concluded within 18 months.
For several weeks there has been talk the US would embrace the French plan or, at least, be open to a vote on Palestinian statehood.
According to Al-Monitor, Obama believes Netanyahu’s re-election and the new coalition he has formed require a change in policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that “starts with Europe moving from the back seat to a front-line diplomatic position and forging an effective and clear European Union policy.”