White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today declined to accept Israeli Prime Minister Netayahu’s reversal today of his earlier rejection – which had been made during the final moments of a campaign – of a two state solution, saying the White House “reevaluation” of its stance toward Israel would go forward.
Why? I’ll tell you why. Because the White House has wanted to do this for a long time, and Netanyahu’s statement rejecting a Palestinian state was the perfect pretext for moving ahead.
Under repeated questioning, Earnest’s only hint of flexibility was to say the U.S. would monitor Netanyahu’s future statements.
Earnest spoke during the daily White House briefing:
What is apparent is that in the context of the campaign and while he was the sitting Prime Minister of Israel, he walked back from commitments that Israel had previously made to a two-state solution.
So it is, as we mentioned yesterday, cause for the United States to evaluate what our path is forward, given the Prime Minister’s comments. And so we’ll have to sort of see what sort of policy and priorities the Prime Minister chooses, but we certainly are in a position to evaluate our approach to these issues, given that the Prime Minister essentially backed away from commitments that Israel had previously made to this effort.
This despite Netanyahu’s clear statement that he want a two-state solution, albeit with some reasonable caveats, according to NBC News.
“I don’t want a one-state solution,” he told NBC News in an interview. “I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.”
But he cautioned that “circumstances have to change” for that to happen. He said that the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize Israel and has made a pact with Hamas calling for Israel’s destruction.
“And every territory that is vacated today in the Middle East is taken up by Islamist forces,” he said. “We want that to change so we can realize a vision of real, sustained peace.”
Earnest also specifically suggested that the United States, as part of its “reevaluation,” might change its policy of protecting Israel against hostile resolutions in the UN.