Jump to content

Netanyahu 'spat In Our Face' White House Officials Say


g-dawg
 Share

Recommended Posts

Netanyahu ‘spat in our face, ’ White House officials say

PM ‘will pay price’ for spat over Congress address; Obama said to have asked him to tone down pro­sanctions rhetoric; Wash. Post: Kerry’s enthusiasm for defending Israel may wane

BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF January 23, 2015, 9:21 am

The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.

“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us. “There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said. Officials in Washington said that the “chickenshit” epithet — with which an anonymous administration official branded Netanyahu several months ago — was mild compared to the language used in the White House when news of Netanyahu’s planned speech came in. In his address the Israeli leader is expected to speak about stalled US­led nuclear negotiations with Iran, and to urge lawmakers to slap Tehran with a new round of tougher sanctions in order to force it to comply with international demands.

The Mossad intelligence service on Thursday went to the rare length of issuing a press statement to deny claims, cited by Kerry, that its chief Tamir Pardo had told visiting US politicians that he opposed further sanctions. Haaretz reported that Obama had personally demanded that Netanyahu tone down his prosanctions rhetoric in a phone call between the two last week. The president has said a sanctions bill would cripple negotiations with Iranian leaders at a critical stage, and has threatened to veto such a bill should it come through.

The Washington Post reported that Netanyahu’s apparent disrespect for the US leadership was particularly offensive to Secretary of State John Kerry, who over the past month had made frenzied efforts on Israel’s behalf on the world stage — making dozens of calls to world leaders to convince them to oppose a UN Security Council resolution which would have set a timeframe for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“The secretary’s patience is not infinite,” a source close to Kerry told the Post. “The bilateral relationship is unshakable. But playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender.” The White House said Thursday that Obama would not meet with Netanyahu when he travels to Washington, with a spokeswoman citing a “long­standing practice and principle” by which the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections. Kerry will also not meet with Netanyahu.

Netanyahu will be in Washington in part for a March 3 address to a joint session of Congress. House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the Obama administration. The White House initially reacted icily to Netanyahu’s plans to address Congress, an appearance apparently meant to bolster opposition to a nuclear deal with Iran as it is currently shaping up, as well as opposition to new sanctions against Tehran. White House spokesman Josh Earnest suggested Wednesday that Netanyahu and Boehner had broken with protocol in not informing Obama of the prime minister’s travel plans. “We haven’t heard from the Israelis directly about the trip at all,” he said, adding the White House would “reserve judgment” about any possible face­to­face meeting until explanations are made. “The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he is traveling there. That is certainly how President Obama’s trips are planned,” explained Earnest. “So this particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.” Speaking several hours after Earnest, top US diplomat Kerry said Netanyahu was welcome to give a speech at “any time” in the United States. But Kerry agreed it had been a “little unusual” to hear about the Israeli leader’s speech to US Congress next month from the office of Boehner and not via the usual diplomatic channels. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, said that Boehner blundered when he invited Netanyahu to address Congress amid sensitive negotiations about Iran’s nuclear program and in the shadow of Israel’s elections

“If that’s the purpose of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit two weeks before his own election, right in the midst of our negotiations, I just don’t think it’s appropriate and helpful,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday at her weekly news conference. The speech, Pelosi suggested, could give Netanyahu a political boost in elections a few weeks later and inflame international talks aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear program. Israel is scheduled to hold elections on March 17. Netanyahu confirmed Thursday that he would address Congress in early March. He was initially slated to speak on February 11, but changed the date so he could attend the AIPAC conference.

“The Prime Minister is expected to arrive in the US at the beginning of March and will also participate in the AIPAC conference,” read a statement from the PMO. “The speech in front of both houses of Congress will give the prime minister the opportunity to thank President Barack Obama, Congress, and the American people for their support of Israel. “I look forward to the opportunity to express before the joint session Israel’s vision for a joint effort to deal with [islamist terrorism and Iran’s nuclear program], and to emphasize Israel’s commitment to the special bond between our two democracies,” Netanyahu said, according to the statement. Israel and the United States are close allies, but personal relations between Obama and Netanyahu have reportedly deteriorated over the years. The pair have publicly clashed over Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and about how to tackle Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Obama’s allies fear Netanyahu’s March trip could be used by Israel and by Republicans to rally opposition to a nuclear deal, undercutting years of sensitive negotiations just as they appear poised to bear fruit. In November the already faltering ties between the leaders were served a new blow when an anonymous US official was quoted calling Netanyahu a “chickenshit” in an article published by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the American magazine The Atlantic. The article portrayed the rift between the United States and Israel as a “full­blown crisis.”

AP and Lazar Berman contributed to this report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually think this is a good thing and find it refreshing. There is bi-partisan support on the Hill to enact tougher sanctions on Iran - who clearly is toying with the U.S. and Obama - stringing them along while they pursue their nuclear ambitions.

Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is one of Obama's biggest critics. There is no reason to pursue a deal w/ Iran when they clearly have no intention of giving up their desires for Nuclear weapons.

Public pressure needs to be ratcheted up on Obama and Netanyahu coming to Congress and speaking there makes it a news event that the national media will cover. I don't even think this a Democrat vs. Republican kind of issue - and that seems to bare out in Congress where Obama's own party is very critical of how he is handling this whole thing. A bad deal is worse than no deal and Iran does not respond favorably with our appeasement. This is a "Lucy/Charlie Brown football" scenario.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your link was from 2010. In 2012, he snubbed Netanyahu to attend a fund raiser with Jay-Z and appear on Letterman.

It definitely speaks to some pretty sour relations with Israel. And it seems incredibly dooshy for the White House to be upset given their treatment of Netanyahu in 2010 and 2012 when he was here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your link was from 2010. In 2012, he snubbed Netanyahu to attend a fund raiser with Jay-Z and appear on Letterman.

It definitely speaks to some pretty sour relations with Israel. And it seems incredibly dooshy for the White House to be upset given their treatment of Netanyahu in 2010 and 2012 when he was here.

yes, US/Israel relations have been strong for almost 50 years. It is kind of like someone who hates their mother-in-law. Seems fairly clear that Obama really has little use for Israel or Netanyahu - he is not really too concerned about Israel on any host of issues.

I don't blame Netanyahu - Israel will not tolerate sitting idly by while Iran goes nuclear - Netanyahu has seen six years of Obama's foreign policy and has determined that he cannot hold out hope anymore that Obama will come around. Obviously Bibbie does not think he can wait until the next US Presidential election. I believe even Hillary would be much, much better with Israel than Obama.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, US/Israel relations have been strong for almost 50 years. It is kind of like someone who hates their mother-in-law. Seems fairly clear that Obama really has little use for Israel or Netanyahu - he is not really too concerned about Israel on any host of issues.

I don't blame Netanyahu - Israel will not tolerate sitting idly by while Iran goes nuclear - Netanyahu has seen six years of Obama's foreign policy and has determined that he cannot hold out hope anymore that Obama will come around. Obviously Bibbie does not think he can wait until the next US Presidential election. I believe even Hillary would be much, much better with Israel than Obama.

How about we just continue to funnel massive amounts of cash to Israel and let them fight their own battles?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Israel will do exactly that. Bibi is not going to sit on the sidelines much longer vs. Iran while it goes nuclear.

People grow numb to the, "Iran is only a year away from nuclear weapons," threats after a decade+ of that noise. If Netanyahu sincerely believes they are that close then he should bomb them as he has been threatening to do for years now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People grow numb to the, "Iran is only a year away from nuclear weapons," threats after a decade+ of that noise. If Netanyahu sincerely believes they are that close then he should bomb them as he has been threatening to do for years now.

You don't have nuclear weapons......until you do. If they are progressing towards the goal, what difference does it make if they are 6 months away, 1 year away or 3 years away? Iran certainly is not going to give Bibi the timeline.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You don't have nuclear weapons......until you do. If they are progressing towards the goal, what difference does it make if they are 6 months away, 1 year away or 3 years away? Iran certainly is not going to give Bibi the timeline.

Because they've apparently been a year away for fifteen years now. It comes off as Israel crying wolf at this point. Again, if they genuinely believe they are that close and they feel their existence is threatened then they should go in and bomb them. They already have a history of doing that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I don't get is how come they still don't have the bomb. I mean, they have money (although they've been hit hard by the sanction, but still...), they can bring North Korean scientists (and their own savants are probably up to the challenge anyway) and we live in the 21st century. The US made their first bomb within a few years with 1940 technology...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Iran has made it clear it will wipe Israel from the map first chance it gets. It's not crying wolf it is preserving it's citizens lives. Iran is a catch 22. It is dangerous and should be stopped from becoming more dangerous. But if you destabilize it and the Ayatollah is given free course and an excuse for terror recruiting it will be far worse.

Again: If Israel genuinely believes Iran is that close to getting nuclear weapons and that they will use it against Israel then they should bomb the facilities. They have already set a precedent of doing this in that region and it's not like the Iranian military is up to date as the other countries they bombed were so the mission would ostensibly be easier than the others. If their fear is terrorist responses then there isn't much point seeing as how Hezbollah is completely focused on fighting in Syria.

It does not take nearly twenty years to develop nuclear weapons, especially not in this day and age, and if they were truly a year away, as has been said on an annual basis during that time frame, they would have them already. This is, in my opinion, nothing more than Israel crying wolf since there is no reason to constantly say this when a nation has already set a precedent of unilaterally taking action to prevent this than to get the United States and whoever else they can drag along to tighten the screws on Iran and maybe invade it to achieve regime change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/10/world/meast/iran-annihilate-israel/

While he says in his tweets not by b genocidal methods he goes on to refer to Isreal as a cancer that must be removed.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9059179/Iran-We-will-help-cut-out-the-cancer-of-Israel.html

the goal is destroy the nation of Israel. If that means arming suicide bombers and sending them out so be it. When you have cancer cells you do what you have to do to remove it, even if it means radiation. Given they call for the destruction of Isreal, refer to it as a cancer that must be removed and more. Just go to his twitter. Give then the means to accomplish that goal and you are just as guilty as them.

So at best, we can infer it. I can infer that he isn't interested in doing so, because it's been several decades and no action has been taken by Iran. If Israel was really worried, they'd attack anyways, and if Iran was that determined to nuke them, they'd have by nukes now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...