President Obama says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's abrupt right turn ahead of last week's elections made it hard for the international community to "seriously believ[e] that negotiations are possible" to establish a peaceful Palestinian state.
"We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn't happen during his prime ministership," Obama said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
"We indicated that that kind of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions," Obama went on, adding that the shift "starts to erode the name of democracy in the country."
With his support lagging in the polls last week, Netanyahu vowed never to allow for the creation of a Palestinian state. Days after winning re-election, though, he walked back that statement.