Every time Israel announces a massive new settlement inside the occupied territories, President Obama warns it is “unhelpful” to the peace process. This time, even though the comments were materially identical to the last dozen times it’s happened, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed to be “baffled.”
In comments today, Netanyahu went on to declare Obama’s criticism un-American, saying that it was part of the White House’s plot for “ethnic purification” of the West Bank as a condition of peace.
Netanyahu insisted he would never accept any restrictions on where Jews could build settlements, and insisted that any position to the contrary is “anti-peace” and harmful to the peace process.
Tensions between Netanyahu and the Obama Administration are nothing new, but the extent to which the Israeli premier railed against the US president, in an interview on national American television, is unprecedented, and likely portends a new pickup in tensions between the two sides.
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