Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the weekend uploaded another YouTube video, this time taking at the assertion (most often made by the Obama Administration) that the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank) is an obstacle to peace.
“I am perplexed by this notion,” stated Netanyahu, “because no one would suggest that the two million Arabs living inside Israel are an obstacle to peace. Because they aren’t.”
Netanyahu also turned the tables on the “ethnic cleansing” charge, noting that the only side trying to ethnically cleanse anything is the Palestinian leadership, which demands a state free of Jews.
While the prime minister only vaguely referenced “some enlightened nations” who are unfortunately backing this “outrageous” demand, he very clearly had the United States in mind as he asked, “Would you accept ethnic cleansing in your state? A territory without Jews, which Hispanics, without Blacks?”
The connection was not lost on the Obama White House.
“We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank,” US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters.
Trudeau added that what she called Netanyahu’s “inappropriate and unhelpful” remarks are the current topic of (probably heated) discussion with the Israeli government.