Obama’s Hostility to Netanyahu Goes Down Badly*

By Marc Schulman*
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 @ 11:14PM

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The following excerpts from an avid critic of Mr. Netanyahu, reflect the general reaction of the Israeli public to the Obama administration’s demonetization of the State of Israel and its freely, fairly and democratically elected leader.

“The one person who seems unwilling to accept the results of the election here appears to be the current occupant of the White House and other members of his administration. President Barack Obama has been exceptionally harsh in his criticism, which is starting to create a backlash among Israelis.

As Professor Oz Almog of Haifa University stated in a Facebook post:

The White House has created recently a new custom to embarrass and insult the Prime Minister of Israel after the elections, in a harsh and vitriolic manner. The White House has also added threats of re-examining the relationship.

He goes on to say:

I never voted for Netanyahu and I do not have inclination to defend him, but as a resident of Israel, President Obama’s tone and statement are hard to take….

He states further:

President Obama is going too far. Attacking the government is also attacking the people. We are open to criticism, but not one-sided.”

In a Middle East where over 100 people are dying every day in Syria, where Yemen and Libya are falling apart in front of our eyes, and when Russia has occupied 20 percent of Ukraine, the president of the United States goes on TV to attack the stupid remarks of our prime minister while sending warm new year’s greetings to a dictator in Iran, responsible for brutally killing demonstrators who were asking for additional freedoms?

Looked at in context, Obama’s choice is unfathomable…

 The reactions of Obama and his team, including the president’s chief of staff stating that the occupation has to end, as if it is solely Israel’s fault, have surprised even some of Netanyahu’s harshest critics

Finally, there is astonishment in Israel about what seems to be mostly a bogus story claiming Israel has been stealing U.S. secrets relating to the Iran nuclear program talks. While no one in the Obama administration is accusing Israel of having a spy in the room or bugging the room where the talks took place, they seem to be implying as much.

In reality, it’s no secret that Israel has put extraordinary effort into understanding what is going on, no doubt by intercepting Iranian calls and using human intelligence to speak to third parties to assess what is happening. What seems to have most incensed the Obama administration is Israel’s sharing of that information with congressional critics of the Iranian negotiations.

It is understandable why Obama is not happy that Netanyahu is trying to undermine a potential agreement with Iran, but resorting to a spying canard seems a step too far.

* A version of this column was published in Newsweek on March 24, 2015

*Marc Schulman, Historian, is  editor of Historycentral.com

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