Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, calling him a "racist" and an obstacle to peace, CNN reported.
Speaking in Iowa City, the former Texas representative said the American relationship with Israel is among the most important "on the planet."
But, he said, "That relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist, as he warns about Arabs coming to the polls, who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank, and who has sided with a far-right, racist party in order to maintain his hold on power."
O'Rourke said that Netanyahu, by hindering a two-state solution, does not represent "the true will of the Israeli people" or the "best interests" of the ties between the US and the Jewish state.
"We must be able to transcend his current leadership to make sure that that alliance is strong, that we continue to push for and settle for nothing less than a two-state solution, because that is the best opportunity for peace for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine," O'Rourke said.
The Trump administration has reportedly been delaying the release of its Mideast peace plan until after Israel’s election, which is this Tuesday, so that Netanyahu would not have to go on record about it, something many say would harm his re-election bid, according to The Hill.
The Trump administration also recently bucked longstanding American policy by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.
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