U.S. rebukes Israel’s victorious Netanyahu on Mideast policy, Iran

The White House on Wednesday scolded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his re-election victory for abandoning his commitment to negotiate for a Palestinian state and for what it called “divisive” campaign rhetoric towards Israel’s minority Arab voters. And with less than a week to the deadline for an Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry worked with top Iranian and European officials to try to close gaps blocking the  agreement. Netanyahu opposes any accommodation with Tehran and came to Washington during the campaign to address U.S. lawmakers and denounce the agreement under negotiation as a “bad deal”.

We are facing an Israeli society that is sick with racism, and a policy of occupation and settlement building… and ahead of us is a long and difficult road of struggle against Israel.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official

In the final stages of the campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state, effectively reneging on his 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution. He also pledged to build thousands of homes for Jewish settlers in annexed Arab east Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to the Palestinians. The Palestinians say they will seek action against Israel at the ICC as early as next month.