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March 29, 2015 3:01 pm

Boehner Says White House ‘Animosity’ Toward Netanyahu is ‘Reprehensible’ (VIDEO)

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Speaker of the House John Boehner called the White House's criticism of Netanyahu "reprehensible." Photo: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

House Speaker John Boehner on Sunday condemned President Obama and the White House for its latest attacks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the Israeli leader’s successful reelection earlier this month.

“I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible,” Boehner told CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union. “And I think that the pressure that they’ve put on him over the last four or five years have frankly pushed him to the point where he had to speak up.”

“I don’t blame him at all for speaking up,” he added.

Netanyahu was sharply criticized by the White House shortly after his reelection for comments he made on the campaign trail saying that current security conditions were not conducive to the creation of a Palestinian state, though he later told NBC News, “I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.” Boehner said Netanyahu’s statement before the election was understandable and when Bash asked if he thought the remark was “brazen,” he replied, “I don’t think so.”

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“Well, he doesn’t have a partner,” Boehner explained. “How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when you’ve got a — when the other state is vowing to wipe you off the face of the earth? Until there’s a willing partner. Willing to sit down and have peace talks, I think it’s irrelevant whether we’re talking about a two-state solution.”

Boehner described the two-state solution concept as an “aspirational goal” but said “we’re nowhere close to having anything like it because you’ve got Hamas controlling what goes on in Gaza and they don’t seem interested in peace.” He added that he favors the creation of a Palestinian state “as long as you have a willing partner willing to hold up their end of the deal.”

Boehner will travel to Israel this week. He dismissed the suggestion that the visit will be a “victory lap” to celebrate Netanyahu’s election win, and said that his trip to the Jewish state was planned months before the Israeli election and before Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress on March 3. Boehner said that part of his goal in visiting Israel is to strengthen US-Israel relations and referred to the Jewish state as “an important ally.”

Watch Boehner on State of the Union in the video below:

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