White House admonishes Likud for `divisive' rhetoric
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political party of using anti-Arab rhetoric ahead of Israel's election. In its first public response to Netanyahu's victory, the White House says it's "deeply concerned" about divisive language emanating from Netanyahu's Likud Party. Social media postings by the party had warned Israelis about the danger of high turnout by Arab voters.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest also says the U.S. will have to re-evaluate the best way to bring about a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after Netanyahu said he now opposes the creation of a separate Palestinian state.
Earnest says President Barack Obama still believes the best solution is for Palestinians to have an independent state. But he says the U.S. will re-evaluate its approach in light of Netanyahu's comments.
Earnest says Obama will call Netanyahu soon to congratulate him. He says Secretary of State John Kerry has already congratulated Netanyahu by phone. Earnest spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One as the president flew toward Cleveland for an event focused on U.S. manufacturing.