Fw: Travel print pool report #2a

From: Jordan Fabian [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 01:31 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.; Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: Travel print pool report #2a

Highlights from the gaggle, including news on the Israeli elections:

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today to congratulate him on the Israeli elections.

Earnest said he anticipates Obama will also call Netanyahu “in the coming days.”

In two previous Israeli elections, Earnest said Obama did not telephone Netanyahu until he was directed by the Israeli president to form a government. Earnest said it is possible call could come sooner this time, but would not give an exact date.

On Likud party messaging warning that Netanyahu’s opponents were turning out Arab-Israeli voters:

The rhetoric “sought to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens," Earnest said.

“The United States and this administration is deeply concerned about rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens. It undermines the values and Democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.”

“Rhetoric that seeks to marginalize one segment of their population is deeply concerning and it is divisive and I can tell you that these are views the administration intends to communicate directly to the Israelis."

Earnest said he did not know whether Kerry passed along this message to Netanyahu and would not say if POTUS would bring it up with him.

On Palestinian state comments from Netanyahu:

Netanyahu “indicated a change in his position” in the recent election and based on those comments, “The United States will reevaluate our approach” to the situation.

“It has been the policy of the United States for more than 20 years that a two-state solution is the goal of resolving the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians,” Earnest said.

Going forward, a the U.S. continue to believe a two-state solution is the “best way to diffuse tensions” in the region.

“Based on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comments, the united states will reevaluate our position and the path forward in this situation.”

Please check all quotes against transcript. More TK from your co-pooler Mike Memoli.

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Jordan Fabian | White House Correspondent | The Hill | 1625 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 | xxx@email.com | Desk: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Mobile: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Twitter: @Jordanfabian

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