President Barack Obama gave an interview with Israeli media on Tuesday, in which he threatened that an Israeli refusal to renew peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) will "make it hard" for the US to veto motions in the UN against Israel.
In an interview with Ilana Dayan for Channel 2's "Uvda" (Fact) TV show aired Tuesday night, Obama commented on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's statements before elections in which he said that a Palestinian state won't be founded on his watch.
Obama noted that later Netanyahu distanced from the statement and "suggested that there is the possibility of a Palestinian state. But it has so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met anytime in the near future."
Those conditions have included the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and demilitarization, conditions that proved problematic in the last round of peace talks that Obama pushed into existence in late 2013.
The president continued, "and so the danger here, is that…Israel as a whole loses credibility. Already the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two states solution...the statement the Prime Minister made compounded that...belief that there's not a commitment there."
Describing Netanyahu, Obama said, "I think that he also is someone who has been skeptical about the capacity of Israelis and Palestinians to come together on behalf of peace. I think that he is also a politician, who's concerned about keeping coalitions together and maintaining his office."
"Netanyahu…is somebody who's predisposed to think of security first. To think perhaps that peace is naive," he continued. "To see the worst possibilities, as opposed to the best possibilities in Arab partners or Palestinian partners, and so I do think that right now, those politics, and those fears are driving the government's response. And, I understand it, but…what may seem wise and prudent on the short-term, can actually end up being unwise over the long-term."