Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes US President Barack Obama won’t use his final months in office to help the Palestinians unilaterally declare an independent state.
Something similar happened during the final “lame duck” months of Bill Clinton’s presidency, when he oversaw the Taba Summit that attempted to harness Israel with fresh obligations and concessions.
“I can only hope that the US’s consistent policy will continue to the end of his [Obama’s] tenure,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 2 News. “I want an agreement whereby the Palestinians will recognize our state, just as we will recognize theirs. … Their refusal to recognize [Israel] as the national home of the Jewish people, in any borders, remains the heart of the conflict.”
There has been some speculation that the Palestinian leadership in the coming months could petition the United Nations to recognize an independent “Palestine,” and that Obama would decine to veto the resolution.
Israeli government minister Tzachi Hanegbi warned in remarks to Army Radio that Obama is “naive and messianic,” making him dangerous up until his last day in office.
“Obama is not acting like the most powerful man in the world,” said Hanegbi. “Instead he is behaving like someone working in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office.”