Obama administration refuses to believe Netanyahu is sincere about direct talks with Palestinians

While the Obama White House has expressed skepticism over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for direct negotiations with the Palestinians, the same US officials remained silent after the Palestinians rejected Israel’s offer to meet.

By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff

The Obama administration has expressed skepticism over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We of course support meaningful negotiations and we continue to believe that this conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties….We do not believe in negotiations just for the sake of negotiations,” a senior US State Department official told the Jerusalem Post.

“As we’ve said many times, it is up to the parties to decide if they are ready to make the tough decisions necessary for successful negotiations,” the official added. “For our part, we continue to call on both sides to demonstrate with policies and actions a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.”

The Obama administration’s statement comes as France is organizing a meeting of world leaders in early June to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which Israel and the Palestinians are not invited to.

Netanyahu has opposed the French approach, telling French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday that the only way to achieve peace as through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The Palestinians also rejected Netanyahu’s call for direct negotiations.

France plans to use the meeting to help plan a larger summit next fall on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to introduce a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution on the issue.