Beto O’Rourke calls Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ‘racist’

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

In an interview with Israeli Channel 12 News three days ahead of the April 9 poll, Netanyahu was asked why he had not extended sovereignty to large West Bank settlements, as Israel did without worldwide recognition in east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, both captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

His solution? A two-state component to broker peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The latest polls, released on Friday, showed only a marginal difference between Netanyahu's Likud party and Blue and White, a new faction headed by Gantz.

O'Rourke's comments join a larger policy debate taking place across the country and in the Democratic Party about Israel and Netanyahu, whom Trump hosted in the White House just weeks before Israel is set to hold decisive elections, in which Netanyahu seeks to become Israel's longest-serving prime minister.

Netanyahu, 69, took to Facebook, where he spoke live and urged Israelis to vote for the Likud party.

At the conclusion of a four-day road trip in Iowa that included 17 town halls, 6 neighborhood house parties, and 5 college campuses, Democratic presidential contender Beto O'Rourke, who last November lost the senate race to Republican Ted Cruz, but came close, made a decision to go after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, possibly because Iowa farmers who wake up every morning to milk their cows are asking themselves if Bibi could beat Gantz, and what are the ramifications of the Israeli elections regarding their grain subsidies.

"Netanyahu's dreams of annexing the West Bank will never be achieved and we will not allow that to happen", he said.

A 61-seat majority is needed to form a coalition in Israel's 120-seat Knesset.

Go "extra step" to get Brexit deal, UK Labour lawmakers urge Corbyn
He said he would make the move if the government "proves it is incapable of commanding a majority in the House of Commons". Earlier Wales Office minister Nigel Adams resigned from his post in protest at the talks with Jeremy Corbyn .

Erdogan went on to say: "Every action of Israel since 1948 is illegal".

The general election in which Netanyahu is seeking to extend his already 13 years in office despite corruption allegations against him is expected to be close, with ex-military chief Benny Gantz posing a serious threat.

Gantz was greeted by his enthusiastic backers with drums and chants of "Here he comes, the next prime minister!"

But Netanyahu has been defiant, calling the investigations a "witch hunt" and denouncing journalists reporting on them - similar to the tactics used by his ally Trump.

After Tuesday's election, President Reuven Rivlin will meet with party leaders and decide which party is best positioned to head the government.

"He's unprecedentedly gifted. He's a competent political maneuverer and the most effective political communicator in Israel's history", said Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

In March, President Trump broke with decades of global consensus by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria. "Everyone has to vote Likud, otherwise we would have a left government", he claimed, according to the Jerusalem Post.

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