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March 10, 2014 2:33 pm
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State Department Spokeswoman Denies Jewish State Comments Reported by Palestinian Paper

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Jen Psaki. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Monday said a Palestinian publication recently “distorted” a statement she made last week about Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state.

The Jerusalem-based paper Al-Quds quoted Psaki as telling one of its reporters during a press briefing on Friday that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority “is not necessary”, according to The Times of Israel.

Psaki dismissed the claims via Twitter, writing, that the publication “distorted/fabricated my quote,” and that  she “did not do an interview with Al Quds.”

She added, “US position (as I stated) Israel is a jewish state. But we are not in the business of negotiating from the podium…”

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According to an official state department transcript of Psaki’s briefing, what she really said was the following:

“If you look at the issue of a Jewish state and whether Israel will be called a Jewish state, that’s been our position, as you know, for a long time, but that doesn’t reflect what the parties will agree to, which I know you know, and of course there are many issues like that that are being discussed as part of the framework.”

The discussion comes in advance of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on March 17, as part of U.S. efforts to press both sides on ongoing peace talks. Israel has long asserted that P.A. recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a requirement for a peace deal to be reached.

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