Obama sees Israeli PM Netanyahu as ‘political coward’ who threatens Israel’s survival: report
Robert Tait, The Daily Telegraph, National Post Wire Services | Jan 15, 2013 11:52 PM ET
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JERUSALEM — Barack Obama sees Benjamin Netanyahu as a “political coward” whose policies pose a greater threat to Israel’s existence than Iran’s nuclear program because he does not know what is in the country’s best interests, it is claimed.
The damning assessment of the Israeli prime minister, relayed by senior White House officials to an American journalist, Jeffrey Goldberg, is the most graphic sign yet of the toxic relationship between the two men, who have clashed continually over the stalled Middle East peace process.
Writing on the Bloomberg website, Goldberg quoted Mr Obama as repeatedly saying, “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are” in response to a spate of recent announcements for thousands of new Jewish settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
Mr Obama did not even bother getting angry after hearing of Israel’s decision to build in a highly-sensitive West Bank area called E1 – previously considered off-limits in deference to American pressure.
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Instead, he told aides it was the kind of self-defeating behaviour he had come to expect from Mr Netanyahu, according to Goldberg, who is renowned for having close ties to both leaders.
The president believes each new settlement announcement is driving Israel towards a “near total” international isolation that presents a greater long-term threat to its survival than Iran’s nuclear programme, which American and Israeli officials believe is aimed at producing a bomb.
“If Israel, a small state in an inhospitable region, becomes more of a pariah – one that alienates even the affections of the US, its last steadfast friend – it won’t survive,” Goldberg writes, paraphrasing Mr Obama’s words. “Iran poses a short-term threat to Israel’s survival; Israel’s own behaviour poses a long-term one.” Mr Obama also believes the Israeli prime minister is a “political coward” who is incapable of making concessions to the Palestinians because he has “become captive of Jewish settler lobby”.
Iran poses a short-term threat to Israel’s survival; Israel’s own behaviour poses a long-term one
His faith in Mr Netanyahu has sunk so low that he is unwilling to spend more time on pursuing fresh peace initiatives, despite the enthusiasm of the presumptive new US secretary of state, John Kerry, for new talks.
“What Obama wants is recognition by Netanyahu that Israel’s settlement policies are foreclosing on the possibility of a two-state solution, and he wants Netanyahu to acknowledge that a two-state solution represents the best chance of preserving the country as a Jewish-majority democracy,” Goldberg wrote.
The report coincided with briefings from Israeli officials that Mr Netanyahu will meet Mr Obama in Washington in early March if he retains power after next week’s Israeli general election. It would be the first meeting of the two men for a year. Mr Netanyahu will also address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), America’s most influential pro-Israeli lobby group, during the visit.
A spokesman for Mr Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the latest report.
Netanyahu was played for a fool by the closet muslem , stringing him along all the way until he was re-elected , now he tells Bibi to go F@#@ himself ! Did Bibi really think the closet Muslem who do anything to hurt his fellow Muslems ?