Democratic presidential candidate pans PM’s ‘harmful’ comments on settlements

Pete Buttigieg says Netanyahu’s pledge to apply sovereignty to Jewish towns beyond Green Line is a ‘provocation’ against Israeli, Palestinian, and American interests

South Bend, Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)
South Bend, Indiana mayor, Pete Buttigieg. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

JTA — Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is a dark horse in the Democratic presidential stakes, chided Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for saying he would apply Israeli sovereignty to parts of the West Bank if reelected.

“This provocation is harmful to Israeli, Palestinian, and American interests,” Buttigieg said Saturday on Twitter, attaching a Haaretz news article that reported Netanyahu’s pledge, made in a TV interview.

“Supporting Israel does not have to mean agreeing with Netanyahu’s politics,” Buttigieg said. “I don’t. This calls for a president willing to counsel our ally against abandoning a two-state solution.”

Buttigieg, who last year visited Israel with the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange, has so far mounted a surprisingly effective campaign, raising $7 million in his first quarter and surpassing the 65,000 donor minimum to participate in the party’s presidential candidate debates.

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