Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Psaki Gets Pressured

Here's from the State Department's Daily Press Briefing of November 3, 2014 

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we believe that both sides can certainly do more. We appreciate – it’s all related, so I will just convey we appreciate Prime Minister Netanyahu’s call for responsibility and restraint in Jerusalem, refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserving the historic status quo of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. We strongly urge all parties to respect this call, which the Palestinian Authority described as a step in the right direction.  But we urge the leaders of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan to exercise decisive leadership and work cooperatively to lower tensions. And certainly there’s more that can be done.

QUESTION: So you believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu, whatever description people in the Administration might have of him, has actually taken decisive – has shown decisive leadership in this specific instance?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we think the call for responsibility and restraint was certainly a positive step, yes.

QUESTION: Have you seen similar from the Palestinian leadership?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Palestinians also described it as a step in the right direction or as an opening.

QUESTION: No, no. But has – well, describing something as a step in the right direction is not necessarily showing decisive leadership. Have the Palestinians done – have they done what you think is necessary in terms of trying to calm the --

MS. PSAKI: I think --

QUESTION: -- calm the tensions or --

MS. PSAKI: -- neither side has done everything that’s necessary. There’s more that needs to be done on both sides...

QUESTION: Okay. Because last week, the spokesman for the Palestinians said that the immediate move after the shooting of the American citizen, the closing of it was an act of war, which doesn’t seem to be toning down the incitement. Now, obviously --

MS. PSAKI: Well, we don’t believe that kind of rhetoric is helpful, no.

QUESTION: Have you seen any change in the Palestinian – in the rhetoric from the Palestinian side?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe that’s been restated, but I don’t have any new analysis.

QUESTION: Okay. So I’ll stop. Okay, I’ll stop after this. But I just – is this something that the Secretary will be talking with Saeb Erekat about later this afternoon?

MS. PSAKI: I’m certain it’s part of their discussion.

QUESTION: The need --

MS. PSAKI: It’ll be part their discussion.

QUESTION: -- to calm things down?

MS. PSAKI: To lower tension. Yes, absolutely.

You could puke.


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