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Israeli Ambassador: Israel Committed to Peaceful Two-State Solution

The Israeli Ambassador to the United States denied that Israel has changed its opinion on a two-state solution.
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After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to walk back his claim before the Israeli election that there would be no Palestinian state, Ambassador Ron Dermer on Sunday morning denied that Israel has changed its opinion on a two-state solution.

When asked to respond to President Obama saying he would take Netanyahu at his pre-election word, Dermer said that Israel was focused on a solution that protected the country’s security.

"He didn't say what the president and others seem to suggest that he's saying," Dermer replied. "And he was very clear about it in his interview with Andrea Mitchell. He didn't change his position. He didn't run around giving interviews saying he's now against the Palestinian state."

But Dermer did say that the "circumstances over the last few years" have changed. "We have a collapse of a 100-year order in the Middle East. And militant Islam is charging into the void. That's the first thing that changed," he explained.

Dermer's bottom-line was that Israel is not “in favor of a Palestinian state that will continue to wage war against Israel.”

The ambassador also responded to criticism from some that believe the relationship between the U.S. and Israel would improve if he were to leave his post.

"I serve at the pleasure of the Israeli government and the Israeli prime minister," said Dermer. “And as long as they have confidence in me, I will continue to do everything I can to not only advance my country's interests, but to work to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel."

— Dale Armbruster