U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has launched a stinging attack on Israel’s “lack of political will” to negotiate with Palestinians and warned that the country will not be able to remain Jewish and democratic unless it changes course.
Biden, long known as the Obama’s administration staunchest supporter of Israel, conceded there was “overwhelming frustration” with Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, with which the U.S. has repeatedly clashed.
“The present course Israel’s on is not one that’s likely to secure its existence as a Jewish, democratic state, and we have to make sure that happens,” said Biden, addressing left-leaning American Jewish group J-Street in Washington.
“There is, at the moment, no political will among Israelis and Palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations,” he said, adding that the expansion of Jewish settlements and the destruction of Palestinian property were “damaging moves that will only take us further from the path to peace”.
Biden further reflected on the current make-up of the Israeli parliament, in reference to Stav Shaffir, a 30-year old left-leaning Member of the Knesset, saying: “May your views once again begin to have a majority.”