US President says Netanyahu cares deeply about Israel\’s security.
The international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has placed so many conditions to its establishment that it is unrealistic to think it could come into existence in the near future, US President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
Obama, in a Channel 2 interview, said that Netanyahu was “fairly unequivocal” in his statement the day before the election that a Palestinian state would not emerge under his watch. Since then, Obama said, Netanyahu has made comments indicating that there is a possibility of a Palestinian state, but added so many caveats that it is not realistic anyone would agree to those conditions.
Netanyahu has reiterated in recent days that any Palestinian state would have to recognize Israel as the Jewish national homeland, and that under any agreement there would need to be an Israeli security presence throughout the West Bank.
Obama said it was “difficult to simply accept as face value” Netanyahu\’s comments about accepting a Palestinian state, and that these statements “appear to look as if this is simply an effort to return to the previous status quo – that we talk about peace in the abstract, but it is always tomorrow.”
Obama, who said that the security, intelligence and military assistance Washington gives to Israel is not conditional on any particular Israeli policy, did say that if there is no prospect for peace, it becomes more difficult for Washington to come to Israel\’s defense on the world stage.