Netanyahu's re-election may lead to isolation of Israel
by Daily Sabah
IstanbulMar 20, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 20, 2015 12:00 am
Preparing to serve a fourth-term in the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could lead his country into a position of isolation in the face of the United States and the European Union due to his reluctant commitment to a two-state solution and his stance toward Israeli Arabs in the country. Western countries and international organizations, like the United Nations, overwhelmingly support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, areas captured by Israel in 1967, and oppose Jewish settlement construction.
Considering the future of the peace process, the U.S. criticized Netanyahu's approach to the two-state solution. "The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab Israeli citizens," the White House spokesperson John Earnest said. "It undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.
"Rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning, it is divisive, and I can tell you that these are views the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis," he added.
European countries also urged Netanyahu to stick to the two-state solution. France, Ireland, Britain, Spain and Belgium have all called for the recognition of Palestine as a state. However, all European moves so far have been symbolic. The European Union also proposed sanctions over Israel's aggressive attitude towards the occupied Palestinian territory. The sanctions include European companies that work with Israeli businesses being prohibited from establishing buildings in Jewish settlement projects in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
The fierce stance against Netanyahu's resistence to the creation of a Palestinian state has come from Scandinavian countries. Before the Israeli election took place, Netanyahu accused Scandinivian countries of meddling in the election through funding a campaign against him, spending millions of dollars. Sweden is the first western European country to formally recognize the state of Palestine. After the recognition of Palestinian statehood, the relations between the two countries have been strained more than ever.
Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon also backed Netanyahu's stance on Palestinian statehood, saying the idea of two states is not workable. "Can you imagine a viable Palestinian entity, economy wise? What about infrastructure, electricity, water?" he said. "They are connected to us like a Siamese twin, so the whole idea of full separation is not viable."
Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party won 30 of the 120 seats in parliament against 24 for the center-left Zionist Union in the parliamentary election on Tuesday. The Likud party has struggled to build a coalition between rightwing parties.