A statement released by US President Barack Obama on Sunday indicated that he had only heard those parts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s peace policy speech that he wanted to hear.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Obama was very pleased to hear Netanyahu finally publicly commit to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. He completely glossed over Netanyahu’s insistence that the peace process focus on the root of the conflict - the Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state - rather than on the international community’s desired outcome.
Gibbs did say, however, that Obama wants to see a final status peace deal that includes both “a Jewish state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state” living side by side.
The spokesman did not comment on Netanyahu’s demands that a future Palestinian state be demilitarized, or his refusal to uproot large Jewish settlement blocs and surrender the eastern half of Jerusalem.
The European Union followed Obama’s lead on Monday by saying it still wants to analyze Netanyahu’s full speech, but expressing satisfaction that the Israeli leader had accepted the idea of a Palestinian state.