Israeli MK: 'We're Not America's 51st State'

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Responding to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks to the Turkish parliament on Monday, demanding adherence to a two-state solution, one government minister said Israel is not America's 51st state.

"Israel does not take orders from Obama," Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan (Likud) said.

"In voting for [Binyamin] Netanyahu, the Israeli public has decided not to become the U.S.'s 51st state," he said.

Erdan's statements were greeted with a resounding yes by many Israelis.

Obama's remarks, though not new or unexpected, came across as dictatorial.

"Let me be clear," the U.S. president said. "The United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."

Israelis heard similar rhetoric from the Bush administration and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

But a new Israeli government is in place, one that many hope can deal with the reality on the ground, while handling the pressures of the Obama administration.

"You'd have to be blind not to see the writing on the wall," a senior government official said, speaking of Israel's inevitable confrontation with the U.S. administration.

A day before the beginning of the Passover holiday, the tension in the air is almost tangible, but along with it is a renewed determination to stand against the rising tide of world pressure meant to push the establishment of a Palestinian state at any cost.

With U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell due to arrive for his third visit to the region next week, the government has its work cut out for it.

Many Israelis are hopeful that Netanyahu and his ministers will clarify Israel's stance, one that is substantially different from than that of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz, israel national news

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Tzippe Barrow

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