Beto O'Rourke Slams 'Racist' Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

09 April, 2019, 02:03 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

If he wins, Netanyahu would become the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history.

It's no surprise that the large majority of Jewish Americans - who favor inclusion, legal immigration, a social safety net and a two-state solution - are among Trump's most virulent critics.

The latest polls, released on Friday, showed only a marginal difference between Netanyahu's Likud party and Blue and White, a new faction headed by Gantz.

Netanyahu has promoted Jewish settlement expansion in his four terms as prime minister, but until now refrained from presenting a detailed vision for the West Bank, viewed by Palestinians as the heartland of a future state. There have been reports of irregularities and suspiciously unregistered votes by the parties.

Presidential hopeful Robert "Beto" O'Rourke doubled down on his criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday when he charged that Israel's leader was a racist after a town hall meeting at the University of Iowa.

"Netanyahu's dreams of annexing the West Bank will never be achieved and we will not allow that to happen", he said.

Netanyahu has indicated that he is concerned that Moshe Feiglin's Zehut party, a radical right-wing list, which is soaring in the polls on a pledge to legalize marijuana, and is seen to be heading for five to seven seats, will not recommend him for the premiership, changing the coalition arithmetic.

"I will give sovereignty, but I don't differentiate between the settlement blocs and the isolated settlements, because from my perspective, any point of settlement is Israeli, and we have responsibility, as the Israeli government".

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Israel says the Palestinians are using the issue of settlements as a pretext to avoid direct peace talks.

Jerusalem is a critical issue for Palestinians and the U.S. move is broadly viewed as an attempt to shape the final status issue in favour of Israel. But even if he does, he faces the prospect of becoming the first sitting prime minister to be indicted.

Netanyahu is close with Republican President Trump.

In February, the attorney general announced that Netanyahu would be indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending a July hearing in which he will be allowed to defend himself.

Netanyahu is up for reelection and Israeli voters are set to head to the polls Tuesday.

"Because that is the best opportunity for peace for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine", O'Rourke said. Last month, Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy when he announced his decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Golan Heights ― a move widely seen as boosting Netanyahu's chances at the polls.

No law prevents Netanyahu - who has strongly denied the accusations - from extending his 13 years in office while under indictment or on trial.

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