JERUSALEM, Israel –
Benjamin Netanyahu has been strongly criticised regarding statements he made immediately prior to the Israeli elections last week. He expressed definitively that the touted Two State Solution would not occur “on [his] watch”. Additionally, he warned right-wingers that Arabs were “coming out in droves” to vote, and that they must counter that; a statement that had not so subtle racist undertones.
But Netanyahu characteristically responded powerfully this week, in an apparent return to the status quo of saying just enough to appease the US government and keep up relations between the two nations. He swiftly denied he had abandoned the Two State Solution, despite recorded evidence of him having done so. He also apologized for being racist, saying “some of my best subjects are Arabs”.
Political analysts responded with an atypical disinterest to the Israeli Prime Minister’s remarks. According to them, the whole process was “tediously predictable”.
“Everyone knew he’d pander to right-winger in order to win essential votes to keep him in power,” said NBC’s Hunter Worthington. “Of course, he could not stand by those comments without drastically damaging Israeli-US relations, which let’s be honest – Israel needs us more than we need them.”
John Oliver, presenter of weekly HBO satire Last Week Tonight, was far more ebullient in his coverage of Netanyahu’s obvious political manoeuvring.
“If he gets away with this, he should be known as NetanyaHou-dini,” the British anchor said. Oliver is known to pull no punches, even when it comes to important US officials and allies, and more is expected from him on this front.
“I think we can expect John [Oliver] to mock Netanyahu’s future comments that he treasures his relationship with President Obama; his commitment to the safety of the Arab population in the Occupied Territories; as well as his assertions that he actually plans to work towards a peace that involves Palestinian statehood while opposing it in the UN.”