Blinken warns Netanyahu on annexation but holds fire on far-right cabinet


WASHINGTON: Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to oppose Israeli settlements and annexation of the West Bank, but he also said he would evaluate the incoming government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu based on their actions rather than their personalities.

After concluding a coalition agreement with extreme-right movements, such as Religious Zionism, which is set for a position in charge of settlements in the occupied West Bank, Netanyahu is anticipated to return to power within days.

Blinken congratulated the veteran Israeli leader, who has clashed with previous Democratic administrations in Washington, in an interview with J Street, a left-leaning advocacy group for Israel in the United States.

Blinken stated, “We will evaluate the government based on the policies it pursues rather than individual personalities.”

However, he stated that the administration of President Joe Biden would work “relentlessly” to preserve a “horizon of hope” for the establishment of a Palestinian state, despite its dim prospects.

Blinken stated, “We will also continue to unequivocally oppose any acts that undermine the prospects of a two-state solution, including but not limited to settlement expansion, moves toward annexation of the West Bank, disruption to the historic status quo of holy sites, demolitions and evictions, and incitement to violence.” These actions include, but are not limited to, disruption to the historic status quo of holy sites.

Prior to Blinken’s remarks, Netanyahu stated that he “didn’t hear a word from all the chorus of critics” regarding the fact that the previous government, led by Yair Lapid, relied on support from an Arab Israeli party with Islamist roots.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leader of Religious Zionism and likely to play a significant role, is a firm supporter of Jewish settlements. He had a portrait of Baruch Goldstein in his living room until recently, when he killed 29 Palestinian worshippers at a Hebron mosque in 1994.

J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, told reporters that the State Department had a “strong case” to consider Ben-Gvir persona non grata and that the US government should think about not dealing with other officials from extreme backgrounds.

‘No substitute’ for peace

Israel held its fifth election on November 1—the fifth in less than four years—following the demise of Lapid’s diverse coalition, which attempted to exclude the scandal-plagued Netanyahu.

Israel’s 2020 promises to the United Arab Emirates, the first Arab nation to recognize Israel in decades, could be violated by any new attempt to seize the West Bank.

The so-called Abraham Accords were praised by Netanyahu and the Trump administration at the time as a significant achievement.

Three additional Arab nations soon followed in discussing ties with Israel, whose commercial relationship with the United Arab Emirates has increased dramatically in the past two years.

Drawing probably the greatest commendation from J Road, Blinken said, “For its advantages, standardization among Israel and its all neighbors is definitely not a substitute for building harmony among Israelis and Palestinians.”

“I am aware that a lot of people are disappointed;Blinken stated, “Many people are frustrated.”

He stated, “We’ve been trying for decades to get to a two-state solution, but it seems that we’ve only gotten further away from that goal.”emaking efforts.

Since Barack Obama’s presidency, the United States has not made any significant diplomatic efforts to broker a two-state solution. Biden administration officials privately express doubt that they can reach an agreement with Netanyahu.

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