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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United States of America
6 October 2014

Jen Psaki
Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC
October 6, 2014

1:14 p.m. EDT


QUESTION: Prime Minister Netanyahu over the weekend talking about how the criticism of his country, or at least of his government, is – conflicts with American values. What’s your response to that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, American policy has been clear and unchanged under several administrations, both Democratic and Republican: We oppose any unilateral actions that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem. These can only be legitimately determined through direct negotiation between the parties. So I have to say it was a bit odd to use American values when clearly we’ve had a consistent view and a consistent position on this particular issue.

QUESTION: Do you – Secretary Kerry got into trouble and had to apologize when he made this reference to the possibility that Israel could become an apartheid state. Is it your view that that – that this is in the similar vein? And by that I mean is it okay for Americans, American citizens, to talk about the possibility of something being un-American and not okay for a foreigner to do so, much in the same way a lot of the people who criticized the Secretary for his comment about Israel acknowledged that Israelis themselves talk about this all the time? Is this, to your way of thinking, to the Administration – is that the Administration’s view?

MS. PSAKI: I wouldn’t put it exactly that way. I think we just don’t think it’s consistent given we’ve had the same viewpoint and point of view on this issue. It didn’t seem like the right use of phrase.

QUESTION: All right. Have you asked – much in the same way as the Turks demanded an apology from the Vice President, have you asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to revisit, clarify, or apologize for his comments, which you clearly disagree with?

MS. PSAKI: Not that I’m aware of Matt, no.

QUESTION: And can I ask why not?

MS. PSAKI: I think we clearly stated our view. There’s – he did an interview. I don’t think – I think we have other issues that we’re ready to keep engaging with Israel on.

QUESTION: All right. And since the criticism to which he referred was issued by both yourself and the White House last week, shortly after the prime minister had left town, have you seen any steps, any moves by the Israeli Government to address your criticism, your concerns about these East Jerusalem projects?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t have any updates from events on the ground, no.

QUESTION: So that means – no. So are you disappointed that they have not moved to address your complaints?

MS. PSAKI: Our concerns haven’t changed. It remains the case that we view these actions as contrary to Israel’s goal of – stated goal of a negotiated two-party – sorry, two-state solution.


MS. PSAKI: So that hasn’t changed. I don’t have any update of events on the ground though.

QUESTION: All right. I’m just wondering, I mean, every time the Israelis do something like this or announce projects like this, as every time the Palestinians do something that you don’t like, you come out and you say this is bad, we’re opposed to unilateral actions. You criticize or otherwise condemn/abhor or whatever --

QUESTION: Beg and cajole.

QUESTION: You say – express deep concern or great concern or you’re troubled. And nothing happens. Nothing is ever addressed. These – the construction continues. The Palestinians continue to do things that you say are counterproductive.

When is the Administration – and this has been going on for – across administrations. But when is an American administration going to actually do something? When are there actually going to be consequences for either side completely disregarding everything that you say?

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, as you know, we have an important security relationship with Israel and they’re an important partner. We still voice our views and concerns when we have them.


MS. PSAKI: But ultimately, this is about what is the stated goal of Israel itself, and that is to achieve a two-state solution.

QUESTION: I’ve been very – I’m trying to be very clear that it’s both sides, not just the Israelis who are --

MS. PSAKI: Fair enough. You were asking me --

QUESTION: -- who are ignoring this.

MS. PSAKI: That’s right.

QUESTION: But I’m just wondering, I mean, when are you going to get to the point where you actually do something other than say you’re concerned about it to get a result? Because the results of it – there are no results from you concern.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think, Matt, what we’ve seen, as I referenced last week I think, is some of the response from the international community, and that’s one of the things that we think will continue to build as well.


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