The White House will work with Netanyahu under specific principles

Published December 5th, 2022 - 06:47 GMT
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a US - EU Stakeholder Dialogue during the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) Ministerial Meeting at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, December 5, 2022. (Photo by SAUL LOEB /POOL/AFP)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration will work with the administration of incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he holds to principles set by U.S. precedent.

In comments to the progressive pro-Israeli J Street conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Blinken said the White House would not waiver in its support of "all" Israeli citizens, including the LGBTQ community and Palestinians living in Israel.

The comments appeared to reference Netanyahu's plans to appoint Avi Maoz, head of the far-right Noam Party, as deputy minister over various education programs. He has vowed to end the Jerusalem Pride parade.

"We'll continue to express our support for core democratic principles, including respect for the rights of the LGBT community and the equal administration of justice for all citizens of Israel," Blinken said in comments.

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"We will gauge the government by the policies it pursues rather than individual personalities. We will hold it to the mutual standards we have established in our relationship over the past seven decades. And we will speak honestly and respectfully with our Israeli friends, as partners always should."

Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Israel, looks to return to the post as he continues to try to build a governing coalition in hard-right parties after the most recent Israel national election.

Blinken reaffirmed the White House's position of continuing its close relationship with Israel, its desire for a two-state solution with the Palestinians in their long-running conflict, and restoration of the multinational nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu has expressed opposition to them.

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"We believe Palestinians and Israelis, like people everywhere, are entitled to the same rights and the same opportunities," Blinken said. "We also support this vision because it's pragmatic.

"We continue to believe, as the President said on his trip to the Holy Land this summer, that two states -- based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps - remains the best way to achieve our goal of Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace and security."

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