Democratic White House hopeful Beto O’Rourke referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “racist.”
While speaking at the University of Iowa on Sunday, during a presidential campaign stop, a voter asked the former Texas congressman about the ongoing conflict in Israel. Beto O’Rourke spoke candidly and openly about his opinions of the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Netanyahu’s plan to annex West Bank Settlements if he wins the election in Israel this coming Tuesday.
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O’Rourke, who has a reputation of being “woke” with reference to race and politics, condemned the Israeli prime minister for essentially not doing what’s in the best interest of the United States.
“The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet,” O’Rourke began.
“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 and 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.”
He also added, “We must be able to transcend his current leadership to make sure that that 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.”
“It is the best opportunity for the full human rights of everyone who is living in that region,” O’Rourke concluded.
His comments reflect a developing chasm within the Democratic party over criticism of Israel’s actions. Younger and more progressive lawmakers have been openly criticizing the Israeli government, in a break from the traditional backing from both political parties in the United States.
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Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has also been criticized about alleged corruption in his administration, is gunning for a fifth term in office.