Mideast-Israel-Palest_Horo2-e1374262540313The US State Department affirmed on Friday that the US recognizes Israel as a “Jewish state” but that this is not a precondition in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The statement was in response to questions regarding the department’s position on comments made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the Palestinian Authority must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, something that its chairman, President Mahmoud Abbas, said that he was unwilling to do. Prime Minister Netanyahu made his position clear at AIPAC’s annual convention on Tuesday where he publicly posed the demand to Abbas saying, “Abbas must recognize the Jewish state,” and “in doing so, you’d be telling the Palestinians that, while we have a territorial dispute, the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own is beyond dispute.” MORE