The U.S. State Department does not consider it necessary for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State, said spokesperson Jen Psaki, according to an interview in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Quds Saturday.
“Our position is that Israel is a Jewish state, but it is not necessary for the two sides to agree on this in the final agreement,” Psaki told Al-Quds, in a translation from Arabic produced by the Times of Israel on Sunday.
The Israeli government has demanded that the Palestinian government recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state as a core condition of the ongoing peace process. Palestinian leaders have refused to do so.
Recently, the U.S. had appeared to agree with Israel. President Barack Obama referred to “the State of Israel–a Jewish state” in his recent State of the Union address, and Secretary of State John Kerry twice referred to “the nation-state of the Jewish people” in recent remarks to the AIPAC conference of pro-Israel activists in Washington. However, both were careful to avoid insisting upon Palestinian recognition of Israel’s identity.
The Palestinians did not agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in the Oslo Peace Accords of 1993, and considers such recognition to be a new demand. Palestinian propaganda denies Jews the right to sovereignty.