In an unusually frank public criticism of Israel, Vice President Joe Biden said the administration is feeling “overwhelming frustration” in trying to deal with the Netanyahu government in Israel, in particular as it relates to seizing Palestinian land and expanding settlements in the occupied territories.
During his speech, made to Israel lobby group J Street, which is generally opposed to Netanyahu’s policies, Biden said he believes Netanyahu is generally moving both the US and Israel in “the wrong direction,” and toward a de facto one-state solution.
In moving toward a one-state solution, in which Israel keeps the occupied West Bank forever, Biden warned that Netanyahu is setting up a situation in which the Jewish state will no longer have a Jewish majority. He added that he is pessimistic about the chances of any peace deals happening any time soon.
During his last election campaign, Netanyahu disavowed support for the two-state solution, though he has since gone back to claiming he supports the idea in principle. Israel’s main opposition, the Labor Party, has also seen its leader insisting Palestinian statehood is impossible.
Israel has spent decades in this position in practice, insisting they have some theoretical backing for peace, but ensuring that no progress is made to that end. The Netanyahu government’s repeated needling of the Obama Administration, however, seems to have made them unusually willing to call Israel on this tactic.