Click here to view La Crosse Area Weather
Mar 25, 3:24 PM EDT

Israel's Netanyahu takes conciliatory tone

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Assault on Gaza: Mapping the attacks
Gaza assault takes its toll on children
A closer look at Hamas
Latest News
Amnesty says Gazan militants committed war crimes

Yehuda Avner, Israeli diplomat and prime minister aide, dies

Israel's Netanyahu takes conciliatory tone

Palestinian premier heads to Gaza on reconciliation mission

Analysis: A divided Israel may seek unity government

AP Photo

Conflict in the Middle East

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, struck a conciliatory tone on Wednesday as he was formally tapped to form a new government, vowing to heal rifts in Israeli society and fix ties with the United States following an acrimonious election campaign.

Netanyahu's comments appeared to be aimed at repairing the damage caused by comments he made in the final days of the campaign that strained relations with the U.S. and drew accusations of racism from the country's Arab minority.

"I see myself as the prime minister of everyone," Netanyahu said. "I will act to heal the rifts, rifts that were opened between different parts of the society during the election campaign."

Seeking to shore up support among his hard-line voters in the final hours of the campaign, Netanyahu said he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state on his watch and warned that Arab voters were heading to the polls "in droves."

The comments angered the U.S., which has made Palestinian statehood a major policy goal, and offended Israeli Arabs. His attempts at damage control, including an apology to Arab citizens of Israel, have so far been rebuffed, and President Barack Obama has said he will have to reassess his policies toward Israel.

Netanyahu spoke at a ceremony where the country's president, Reuven Rivlin, officially handed him the task of forming the next government. Rivlin, whose job is largely ceremonial, urged Netanyahu to repair ties with the U.S. and heal the wounds caused by the campaign.

Netanyahu's Likud Party captured 30 seats in last week's national election, making it the largest party in the 120-seat parliament. Although his party does not control a majority, party leaders controlling a total of 67 seats recommended that Netanyahu lead the next government for what would be his third consecutive term.

Netanyahu is all but guaranteed of forming a governing coalition. But the various partners will all be making conflicting demands for Cabinet portfolios, meaning up to six weeks of negotiations lie ahead. Netanyahu also may defy expectations and invite moderate political opponents to join his government - a step that could help promote unity at home and blunt international criticism.

Netanyahu said he would act to "preserve our alliance" with the U.S., but said he would nonetheless continue to resist an emerging nuclear deal being negotiated between the U.S. and Iran.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

La Crosse Tribune
Winona Daily News

Coulee News
Courier Life News
The Chronicle
Houston County News
Tomah Journal
Vernon Broadcaster
Westby Times

Inside Preps
My LIVE! Entertainment
Best of River Valley
Business Report
Healthy Living Today
Strictly Golf
River Valley Bike Trails
River Valley Blogs
River Valley Outdoors

Tri-County Foxxy

Local Website Directory
7 Rivers Rentals
Wheels Website
Outdoor Motors

La Crosse NET
Winona NET

La Crosse Tribune
Winona Daily News
Coulee News
The Chronicle
Holmen Courier
Houston County News
Onalaska Life
Tomah Journal
Vernon Broadcaster
Westby Times

Lee Enterprises

About Us | Contact Us | Disclaimer | F.A.Q. | Privacy Policy | Requests | RSS | Videos | Webmaster | Website Directory
Copyright © 1997 - 2009 The La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved.
Material from this site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed. A Lee Enterprises subsidiary.