White House 'Deeply Concerned' About Rhetoric from Netanyahu's Party

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The White House said Wednesday that the administration is "deeply concerned" about messaging from Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party this week that warned that the prime minister's political foes were working to mobilize Arab-Israeli voters against him.

“The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens," spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One. "It undermines the values and Democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together."

On Tuesday, Netanyahu warned in a Facebook message that "Arab voters are coming in droves to the ballot boxes. Left-wing NGOs bring them in buses."

Despite late polling that showed a dip in support for the prime minister's Likud Party, Netanyahu's side scored a victory in Tuesday's elections.

Spokesman Josh Earnest also said that the United States must "reevaluate our approach" to the Middle East peace process in light of Netanyahu's last-minute campaign promise that a Palestinian state would never be created while he is in power.

"It has been the policy of the United States for more than 20 years that a two-state solution is the goal of resolving the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians," Earnest said.

While Secretary of State John Kerry has called Netanyahu to congratulate him on the victory, President Barack Obama has not yet reached out to him, Earnest said, adding that Obama will call him "in the coming days."

- Carrie Dann

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