US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for saying that the US response to Israel’s expansion of settlement construction in occupied Jerusalem was “against American values”.
Last week, Paski had said that the construction of more illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Jerusalem would send a “troubling message” to the world, adding that their construction would “poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations”.
Speaking to CBS on Sunday, Netanyahu described this criticism as “against American values”.
During Monday’s press briefing, Psaki responded saying: “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.”
“So I have to say it was a bit odd to use ‘American values’ when clearly we have had a consistent view and a consistent position on this particular issue,” she added.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest also said Netanyahu’s comment “did seem odd”, noting that American values are behind the millions of US dollars of military support for Israel.
“The fact is, when it comes to American values, it’s American values that lend this country’s unwavering support to Israel,” he said. “It’s American values that have led us to fund and build an Iron Dome system that protected the lives of countless innocent Israeli citizens.”
Meanwhile, when Psaki was asked by a reporter if there would ever actually be any consequences for Israelis or Palestinians for undermining the two-state solution, she responded: “Well, 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.”