Gillibrand: I won’t bend to Bibi


New York’s newest senator says she’ll support the policy that she believes would be the best for Israel, no matter what Bibi Netanyahu thinks. In an interview with PolitickerNY, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) also says she’s not opposed to diplomatic presssure on Israel:

In the Feb. 14 interview, Ms. Gillibrand said that the next prime minister of Israel — based on the recent close election that has yet to result in the formation of a governing coalition in the Knesset — would “probably” be the Likud Party’s Benjamin Netanyahu, a hawk who regards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as naïve and unworkable.

“You never know: as the leader, Mr. Netanyahu may find that when he works with America, he may broaden his view,” said Ms. Gillibrand. “He may decide that in the best interest of peace is a two-state solution. That may well indeed be the path to peace.”

Asked if she would advocate that position in the Senate, Ms. Gillibrand said, “I will certainly offer what I think is the best policy, regardless of what Netanyahu says is what he wants to do. I will always be an advocate for the solutions that I think will be most effective.”

And as for the United States applying diplomatic pressure on its ally, Ms. Gillibrand wasn’t entirely against the idea.

“I think the president will use all the means and all the tools in his toolbox to reach a solution for peace in the Middle East,” she said, adding, “And if he offers positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement, that will be a strategic decision for the administration and our secretary of state.”

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