Talk About off to a Bad Start: O’Rourke Calls Israeli PM a Racist.
Dem Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke is trying to make waves as he is nowhere near the top when it comes to Dem favorites Biden and Sanders. The former congressman felt the need to attack one of our closest allies Israel. I guess he is already showing how he would be on foreign policy.
“Speaking at a town hall here at the University of Iowa, the former Texas congressman denounced Netanyahu’s pledge Saturday that he would annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins another term in Tuesday’sIsraeli general election. Netanyahu’s proposed annexation, O’Rourke said, “will make peace in the long term impossible.”
“He then went further, telling reporters in a gaggle afterward that Netanyahu is a “racist.”
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet, and that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist as he warns about Arabs coming to the polls, who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank and who has sided with a far-right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power,” O’Rourke said.”
“Netanyahu, O’Rourke said, does not represent either the best interests of the U.S.-Israel relationship or a path to peace in the region.
“We must be able to transcend his current leadership to make sure that the alliance is strong, that we continue to push for and settle for nothing less than a two-state solution, because that is the best opportunity for peace for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine,” O’Rourke said.
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“O’Rourke’s pointed comments weren’t the first time he’s slammed Netanyahu. Last month, campaigning in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, he charged that “we have a prime minister in Israel who has openly sided with racists.”
Former Senator Joe Liberman objected to O’Rourke’s claim.
“This is an ally in the midst of an election,” he said on Fox Business Network during an appearance on ‘Varney & Co.’ on Monday. “What I would say, and I know Prime Minister Netanyahu a long time, I agree with him a lot of the time, I sometimes disagree — he’s not a racist.”
“O’Rourke did not offer any evidence that Netanyahu is “racist.” The evidence is arguably to the contrary. Last year, as Breitbart News reported, Netanyahu spoke to the annual memorial service in Jerusalem for Ethiopian Jews who died on their escape from famine and war in Africa to the only country that would offer them refuge, telling the gathering: “The entire nation of Israel can learn so much from you … We are as one person, with one heart.”
The remark about “warn[ing] against Arabs coming to the polls” refers to an incident in the 2015 election, when the prime minister posted a Facebook video in which he warned his supporters: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls. Left-wing organizations are busing them out.”
“The remark happened to be true; foreign organizations and governments — including the U.S. under President Barack Obama, who wanted to see Netanyahu defeated — were interfering in the Israeli elections, hoping to turn out the 20% Arab minority. Later, Netanyahu apologized for the remark, and has made a point of developing new relations with Arab governments.”
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