State Department Slams Netanyahu For ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ Accusations

Rebuke For Netanyahu’s ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ comment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to, once again, turn the tables and point fingers at the Palestinians.

Benjamin Netanyahu tried to, once again, point fingers at the Palestinian people, accusing them of “ethnic cleansing”. In a video released on Friday, Netanyahu said the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are neither illegal nor an obstacle to peace—despite the fact that, under international law, they are. Furthermore, the settlements have been one of the main complaints coming from Washington.

According to Netanyahu, however, Israel is always open to diversity and peace, but the Palestinians are not:

“Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews. There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing.”

The U.S. State Department slammed Netanyahu’s comments as completely “inappropriate” and “unhelpful”. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau declared, according to Al-Jazeera, Washington’s strong disagreement to the belief that opposition to Israel’s settlements are an obstacle to peace, and much less ethnic cleansing against the Jews. On the contrary, Trudeau said the settlements are an issue that must also be resolved in the negotiations. Even Tzipi Livni, Israeli opposition member of the Zionist Union party, accused Netanyahu of creating big diplomatic damage while trying to make political gains with a video that caused the U.S. to now reject the entire West Bank project.

As reported by RawStory:

“After Netanyahu’s video, the US is saying that all the settlements, including the blocs, are an obstacle, whereas in the past they were recognized.” 

Others accused Netanyahu of trying to create an entirely false reality. As Ayman Odeh, who heads the Joint List that groups the main Arab parties in parliament, stated:

“Netanyahu doesn’t care that it is the settlements that were established precisely in order to cruelly expel Palestinian populaces from the West Bank to limited territories around the major cities.”

Netanyahu’s comments have outraged many for being an insult to every single Palestinian losing their land and home to Israeli occupiers, to those enduring daily movement restrictions with Israeli checkpoints and daily intimidation from Israeli security forces. But they are also an insult to all those who have indeed faced, or who continue facing, the atrocities of ethnic cleansing around the world. Ironic he should know better about that.

Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

From Mexico City, Carolina has lived in five different countries, experiences she defines as the most enriching. She has focused her studies and work on international conflicts and international security issues, diplomacy and protocol. Carolina holds two MA degrees and hopes to begin her PhD studies soon.