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LI pols dodge disavowing , or endorsing, Netanyahu's 'No Palestinian state' stance

A poster portrait of the newly re-elected Israeli

A poster portrait of the newly re-elected Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, peers from a tangle of campaign literature and sample ballots on a floor of Likud party offices in Tel Aviv early March 18, 2015, shortly after Netanyahu was declared the winner. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jack Guez

Incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made international waves this week by stating his opposition to a Palestinian state Monday and reiterating it Tuesday after casting his ballot. Now, after what’s been declared a decisive win in the race, he’s moving to form a new right-wing governing coalition.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio -- who last summer spoke of Israel’s right to defend itself during its air bombardment of Gaza -- noted that Netanyahu’s new position “seemed to be a step away from a principle that has been pretty universally acknowledged all over the world as the goal -- a two-state solution.”

But among mainstream pols, sharing an opinion seemed to be an exception. Other regional elected officials – notably Reps. Steve Israel and Lee Zeldin, who waxed positive about Netanyahu’s campaign-time speech to Congress – declined to directly answer what they thought of the prime minister’s Palestine position.

Israel (D-Huntington) would only say through a spokesman: “I'm an unequivocal supporter of Israel and the choices made by its citizens. Congress should continue to provide Israel with the support it needs to make tough choices in a hostile region."

Zeldin (R-Shirley) would only say through a spokeswoman: “"The Palestine Authority must be willing to root out terrorist groups like Hamas from its ranks or a two-state solution will never be viable. There are way too many neighbors of Israel overly aggressive in offensive actions against Israelis. Many seek to wipe Israel off the map. That is not an option."

Sen. Charles Schumer, who has stated his support for a “two-state solution” in the past, declined through a spokeswoman to offer any comment. After the Netanyahu speech lecturing the White House on Iran, Schumer called it “powerful, particularly the recitation of Iran’s perpetration of continued acts of terrorism.”

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