'Democratic US presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist” and obstacle to establishing peace in the Middle East.
“The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet,” O’Rourke said on a campaign stop at the University of Iowa on Sunday.
“And that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist as he warns about Arabs coming to the polls (and) who wants to defy any prospects for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank,” he added.
The Texas Democrat condemned Netanyahu for siding with a “far-right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power.”
"I don't think that Benjamin Netanyahu represents the true will of the Israeli people or the best interests of the US-Israel relationship, or any path to peace" for Israelis and Palestinians, added O'Rourke.
In an interview on Saturday, Netanyahu vowed to annex the occupied Palestinian region of West Bank if he won another term in office.
Netanyahu said he would not shy away from expanding Israel’s illegal annexations to cover the West Bank, a land currently inhabited by Israelis which the Tel Aviv regime occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.
Weeks before Israel's legislative elections when Netanyahu was facing an increasingly tough time US President Donald Trump invited him to the White House and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, a border area the Tel Aviv regime seized from Syria in 1967.
Trump handed the pen that he used for his signature to Netanyahu, and said, "Give this to the people of Israel."'
Read more: Beto O'Rourke slams ‘racist’ Netanyahu ahead of Israeli elections
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