WASHINGTON – Israel’s leader, trying to defuse reports of a crisis with the U.S. over his rejection of President Barack Obama’s proposed foundation for future Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, said Saturday that media accounts of the disagreement have been “blown way out of proportion.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had bluntly criticized Obama’s call last week to base future negotiations on Palestinian statehood on Israel’s boundaries before it captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. He publicly reiterated that opposition while sitting beside Obama in the Oval Office on Friday.
On Saturday, Netanyahu stood firm by his insistence that Israel could not withdraw to its prewar lines.
But he told the Associated Press that media accounts of the disagreements “have been blown way out of proportion.”
“It’s true we have some differences of opinion, but these are among friends,” Netanyahu said.
“There should be no doubt about the strength of the American-Israeli relationship and President Obama’s commitment to Israel and its security,” he added.