President Barack Obama said that Israel had lost international credibility as a potential peacemaker. According to the U.S. president, the present political stalemate in the region might be wearing away democratic values of the Middle Eastern nation.
Obama was talking to Israel’s Channel 2 as he expressed his reservations about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership in bringing peace with Palestine. He said that Netanyahu might have the conviction that peace was “naive.”
"I think Prime Minister Netanyahu is somebody who's predisposed to think of security first; to think perhaps that peace is naive; to see the worst possibilities as opposed to the best possibilities in Arab partners or Palestinian partners," the Washington Post quoted Obama. "Israel is going to have a choice about the nature of the Israeli state and its character." Obama indicated that Netanyahu’s resistance was making it more difficult for the United States to defend it at the United Nations.
The U.S. president used personal terms while describing the situation of Palestinian youth. He wondered what opportunities a Palestinian student might have in the future. He argued that it might not be possible for a Palestinian to go on a student exchange program or a business trip because they did not have a recognized state. Obama indicated that the present situation did not allow him to promise much to Palestinians about their prospects.
Reuters reported that the U.S. president had indicated that it was time to reevaluate how his country should support Israel over the Palestine crisis on the international stage. However, he reassured that the United States would continue to back Israeli security.
The U.S. president added that it was not realistic to believe that Netanyahu’s conditions would be met in the near future. He said that the international community had become skeptical about how serious Israel was about a two-state solution.
In the interview aired Tuesday, Obama said that there must be a way to “create some building blocks of trust and progress.” Obama recorded the interview Friday at the White House. He said that Israel and Palestine should work together with the United States to overcome the present “hopeless situation.”