A senior source in the Jewish Home estimated Tuesday that White House pressure against a nationalist government is the real reason for the delay in the signing of a coalition deal between Likud and the religious Zionist party.
The unnamed senior source was cited on Army Radio as saying that the Jewish Home has shown flexibility on numerous subjects, leaving very few disagreements between the parties, yet the prime minister is taking his time about signing the deal.
The source estimated that the US is pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to establish a unity government with the Zionist Union (Labor and Hatnua), instead of the 67-MK government, which the US sees as too right-wing.
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman warned American Jewish leaders Sunday that "If the new Israeli government is seen to be stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution that will make our job in the international arena much tougher... it will be harder for us to prevent internationalizing the conflict."
Speaking at a conference of the Reform Movement in the United States, Sherman insisted the US government has "always had Israel's back in the international arena, even when it meant standing alone. This will continue to be the case."
But, she continued, Netanyahu's statements prior to elections "raised questions about his commitment to the two-state solution.”
“We will be watching very closely to see what happens on this [Palestinian] issue after the new government is formed," Sherman added.