Reprinted from Mike Malloy
How do you say "flip flop" in Hebrew? Netanyahu was reinstalled as Israeli PM on Tuesday, and he's already backing off from his Monday statement that there will "never" be a Palestinian state on his watch. Is he trying to play both sides against the middle? Trying to quell rumors that he's hot for war with Iran?
Whatever his rationale for the head-spinning 180, the White House ain't buying it.
This is from Reuters:
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Thursday abandoning his commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, backing away from pre-election comments that deepened a rift with Israel's ally the United States.
"But the White House, unmoved by Netanyahu's post-election effort to backtrack, delivered a fresh rebuke against the Israeli leader and signaled that Washington may reconsider its long-standing policy of shielding Israel from international pressure at the United Nations.- Advertisement -
"'I haven't changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,' Netanyahu said in an interview with MSNBC two days after winning a bitterly contested Israeli election.
"Shortly after Netanyahu's interview aired, U.S. officials made clear they were not buying it. The White House warned there would be 'consequences' for Israel as the Obama administration re-evaluates its Middle East diplomatic strategy and monitors the formation of Netanyahu's new ruling coalition.
"'He walked back from commitments that Israel had previously made to a two-state solution,' White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. 'It is cause for the United States to evaluate what our path is forward.'
"The harsh U.S. response signaled that U.S.-Israeli relations, already at their lowest point since President Barack Obama took office, could deteriorate even further."
It's good to see the President stand up to a right winger. Sure would be nice if he exhibited the same stiff backbone with Congressional Republicans.
Speaking of Obama, he now says he regrets not closing GITMO on his first day of office, as he promised in his first campaign.
Politico has more:
"On his second full day in office, Obama did sign an executive order that was cast as a directive to close Guantanamo within a year. But it actually created a task force charged with creating a plan to close the detention facility. By the time the group released its plan on Jan. 22, 2010, the bipartisan consensus around closing Gitmo had dissipated and the administration had other priorities for spending its political capital.
"Instead, in response to a seventh-grader's question about what advice he'd give his inexperienced self, Obama said he should have taken a more immediate approach, presumably by simply ordering the remaining 242 detainees be moved elsewhere. That stopped being an option after Congress passed restrictions on transferring Gitmo prisoners to the United States.
"'I think I would've closed Guantanamo on the first day,' Obama said. 'I didn't because at that time we had a bipartisan agreement that it should be closed.'"
Hey, brother ... there is still time!