Former Congressman Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is not backing down from his criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu, slamming the Israeli Prime Minister as a “racist” days before his possible reelection.
Speaking at a campaign event in Iowa City, Iowa on Sunday, the Democratic presidential candidate declared that the U.S.-Israel relationship must “transcend partisanship” as he went on to accuse Netanyahu of not representing “the true will of the Israeli people.”
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet,” the former Texas Democrat said.
“And 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 any 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 continued.
“I don’t think Benjamin Netanyahu represents the true will of the Israeli people or the best interest of the U.S.-Israel relationship or any path to peace for the people of the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip, and the state of Israel, ” O’Rourke added.
His comments came after Netanyahu’s remarks that he would be annexing the West Bank if he won re-election as prime minister on Tuesday in the Israeli election. O’Rourke said the move “will make peace in the long-term impossible.”
O’Rourke, who lost his 2018 campaign to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz, also called out Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, criticizing his “inability to bring his side to the table to negotiate in good faith” and accusing him of “not been faithful in pursuing peace.”
Cruz slammed O’Rourke on Twitter for “falsely labeling” Natanyahu, whom President Donald Trump just hosted in the White House, as a racist.
This is today’s Democratic Party: Viciously attacking the duly elected leader of Israel & falsely labeling him a racist for defending the Jewish people. There was a time when support for Israel was rightly bipartisan. But then the Dems began courting the anti-Semitic Left. https://t.co/PUGgYLzygX
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 8, 2019
Another Democratic presidential contender, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana also weighed in on the prime minister’s remarks, saying “supporting Israel does not have to mean agreeing with Netanyahu’s politics,’
This provocation is harmful to Israeli, Palestinian, and American interests. Supporting Israel does not have to mean agreeing with Netanyahu‘s politics. I don’t. This calls for a president willing to counsel our ally against abandoning a two-state solution. https://t.co/4ycYNowjzn
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) April 6, 2019
“A Palestinian state will endanger our existence and I withstood huge pressure over the past eight years. No prime minister has withstood such pressure. We must control our destiny,” Netanyahu told Channel 12 News over the weekend, according to Haaretz.
“I will extend sovereignty but I don’t distinguish between the settlement blocs and the isolated ones, because each settlement is Israeli and I will not hand it over to Palestinian sovereignty,” he added.
The prime minister’s conservative stance and close alliance with Trump has made him the target of the left as anti-Semitic comments have emerged from the progressives in the Democratic Party, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Michigan’s Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
Many took to social media to slam O’Rourke’s comments and the anti-Semitic tone of Democrats.
More crazy talk by D presidential hopefuls: Beto O’Rourke on Benjamin Netanyahu: ‘Racist’ https://t.co/OaszbfVf3s
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 8, 2019
Add U.S. – Israeli relations to the long list of things that Robert Francis @BetoORourke obviously has no clue about.
— Boris Epshteyn (@BorisEP) April 8, 2019
Netanyahu is hardly racist. @BetoORourke should apologize for this anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, antisemitic smear immediately. Furthermore, I can think of nothing more racist than wanting to ethnically cleanse every last Jew from Judea, which is what Beto wants to do.
— Jake Fradkin (@jsftennis) April 8, 2019
radical leftist BETO calls NETANYAHU racist because he puts his own people FIRST, not last-THE TRUE FACE OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY-ANTI ZIONIST ANTI-SEMITIC https://t.co/nh0ZtlwuXo
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) April 8, 2019
Sooo… Robert Francis calls Benjamin Netanyahu a racist with no basis to do so…
But calls himself “Beto” to sound non-white, which is actually cultural appropriation and racist… got it.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 8, 2019
The festering decay of the Democrat Party is a wonder to behold.https://t.co/phwHMs4LKd
— David Vance (@DVATW) April 8, 2019
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