After Netanyahu Win, US 'Evaluating' Israeli Relations

US could even withhold veto in UN Security Council to protect Israel
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2015 8:34 AM CDT
After Netanyahu Win, US 'Evaluating' Israeli Relations
In this Sept. 30, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Benjamin Netanyahu may have lived politically to fight another day, but he might be doing it without as much help from his friends in Washington: There were no public congratulations from the White House, nor a phone call from President Obama (John Kerry called), and administration officials are indicating the US is considering not using its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel from "unfavorable resolutions," reports the Wall Street Journal. What really got the administration's goat: Netanyahu's sudden decision this week to push back on a Palestinian state, advocate for Jewish settlement in Arab mainstays, and blast Arab-Israeli voter turnout. "The United States and this administration are deeply concerned by divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens," press secretary Josh Earnest said. Says a State Department rep of the Security Council veto: "We’re currently evaluating our approach."

The writing is already on the wall: A senior administration official tells CNN that Bibi's actions "raise very significant substantive concerns [and] we have to reassess our options," and a Brookings Institution adviser says the election results have "probably deal a fatal blow to any hopes Kerry might have still had of restarting negotiations," per Politico. And while another term for the PM means it's even more critical for Obama and Netanyahu to make their relative peace, that continues to be divided along party lines: John McCain tells the Journal it's up to Obama to reach out to Bibi, while Dianne Feinstein says Netanyahu has to come around to a two-state deal. The biggest losers? "Besides all the Israelis who did not vote for Netanyahu, are American Jews and non-Jews who support Israel," Thomas Friedman writes for the New York Times. (More Israel stories.)

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