Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said if he is re-elected he will do anything in his power to eliminate Palestine. Netanyahu has been facing a tough re-election campaign and this new stance could help appeal to the right-wing of the electorate. It also plays into Netanyahu’s platform of promoting the security of Israel and fending off those who wish to eliminate the Jewish state. That platform has shown itself as Netanyahu has spoken out on a potential Iranian nuclear deal and his related address to Congress.
The topic came up in an interview with the Times of Israel as Netanyahu was asked, “If you are prime minister, there will be no Palestinian state?” He replied “Indeed, I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state and to evacuate territory is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the state of Israel.”
This is a reversal for Netanyahu, who previously had supported a two-state solution. In a 2009 speech to Bar Ilan University, the Prime Minister came out in support of a two-state solution. However, since then he has slowly made several signs that he had no intention of allowing a Palestinian state, confirming many world leaders’ view of him.
This announcement by Prime Minister Netanyahu could also further complicate relations between his government and the Obama Administration, especially if Netanyahu is re-elected. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama have had a difficult relationship, sometimes veering into open disdain. The Obama Administration has also been committed to a two-state solution. This means that on two of the top issues facing Israel (Iran and Palestinian statehood), the Israeli government and the American government hold very different views.
The interview comes twenty-four hours before the Israel elections. Netanyahu is in a very close race with Isaac Herzog, of the Zionist Union party. Experts agree that the race is too close to call. Although, many Israelis blame Netanyahu for Israel’s poor economy. Netanyahu has focused his campaign on national security issues while Israelis have named the economy one of their top priorities.
Additional reporting by TKNN’s Tyler.