Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, a top figure in Israel’s ruling Likud Party, issued a statement blasting the US State Department’s comments on Avigdor Lieberman, the nation’s incoming defense minister, saying the makeup of the Israeli government is a purely “internal matter” and none of America’s business.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the new Israeli far-right government raises “legitimate questions,” expressing particular concern about the number of cabinet ministers in Israel who are openly opposed to the two-state solution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has so far refused to comment on the matter, while Lieberman sought to reassure Western officials by insisting that he would act in a “responsible manner” and pursue peace with the nation’s neighbors.
Though the US is expressing concern about the new government, it is unlikely to amount to much, as Netanyahu campaigned on his own opposition to a two-state solution last year, and US “concerns” over that matter dried up pretty quickly.
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