Netanyahu may seek to reset US-Israel relations in meeting with Trump

Pablo Tucker
February 13, 2017

Mr. Trump's comments come just days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to visit the White House.

On December 23, the UN's Security Council adopted a resolution that the establishment of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 have "no legal validity", constitute a "flagrant violation" under worldwide law and are a "major obstacle" to a two-state solution.

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Naftali Bennett, chief of the far-right Jewish Home party, declared Trump's win the end of the "era of a Palestinian state", and has been aggressively pushing for annexation ever since.

"What we want is peace. but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid", Abbas said. "It should happen", Trump told the paper.

However, opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog of the Zionist Union called on Netanyahu not to forget his promise to advance the "two-state solution". That comment came ahead of the heated March 2015 parliamentary election and appeared to be created to drum up votes from sections of the country's right-wing. The NFLer acknowledged that his decision would inspire some and anger others, but his desire to be "a voice for the voiceless" is strong. The two leaders are scheduled to meet at the White House on February 15.

Trump has also backed off a campaign pledge to transfer the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move fiercely opposed by the Palestinians, who regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Netanyahu's governing coalition is dominated by West Bank settlers and their political allies.

Erdan belongs to Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, whose leading members have often espoused a harder line than the prime minister himself.

Israeli ministers on Sunday endorsed a contentious draft bill which Muslims say is meant to silence the traditional call to prayer, information released by the justice ministry showed.

The dehumanizing language USA politicians use against refugees fleeing to the United States and the decision to ban them is reminiscent of Israeli officials calling asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea "infiltrators" and detaining them in the desert.

"All the ministers agreed on the great importance of tightening the relations with the United States", Netanyahu's office said in a statement, "both on the governmental level and the personal level".

"We want to formally apologize to you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the citizens of Israel for the shameful actions of the Obama Administration and his State Department that have jeopardized the security of Israel and betrayed its trust", the letter read.

The interview marks the clearest break from his earlier rhetoric wholly supportive of the Israeli government.

"If Palestinians living in the annexed territories will not be offered Israeli citizenship, that would mean that Israel is officially creating a noncitizen class, hence the charge of apartheid would be hard to dismiss", Sfard said. "No one knows what the positions of the president and his staff are".

Other reports by iNewsToday