The Corner

Netanyahu: Obama’s Criticism of Israeli Settlements ‘Baffling’

Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly stung by the White House’s criticism of new Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, calling the White House’s sharply worded statement just hours after the Israeli leader met with President Obama “baffling.”

“I think they should be acquainted with the facts first,” the Israeli prime minister told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday evening, explaining that the settlement criticized by the White House is a mixed neighborhood of Palestinians and Jews. “Why not have them live together?” he asked.

“The second part of the criticism was actually baffling to me,” Netanyahu continued. “Because it criticized individual Jews who bought apartments in an Arab neighborhood. Jews buy apartments — private property — in Arab neighborhoods. Arabs buy apartments in Jewish neighborhoods! And I find it — that’s the right thing to do!”

The prime minister added that while he and President Obama did not discuss Israeli settlements in the West Bank, “it didn’t feel good” that the White House took a shot at his country over this issue just two hours after the meeting.

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