First Published: 2013-01-16

 

Obama’s Op-ed on Netanyahu angers Israeli MPs

 

Israel MPs accuse US President of 'meddling' in Israel’s upcoming vote after criticising Netanyahu’s ‘political cowardice’ towards peace process.

 

Middle East Online

Better late than never

JERUSALEM - Israeli MPs on Wednesday accused US President Barack Obama of meddling in Israel's upcoming elections over an opinion piece purporting to outline his view of Benjamin Netanyahu's "self-defeating" policies.

The piece, which was published by the prominent Bloomberg columnist Jeffery Goldberg, made headlines across the Israeli press and sparked angry reactions from MPs from the Israeli prime minister's ruling rightwing Likud party.

In the article, Goldberg said Obama appeared to see Netanyahu as a "political coward" vis-a-vis the peace process with the Palestinians who was completely "captive to the settler lobby," and whose ongoing settlement activity was moving Israel "down a path toward near total isolation."

"This is gross interference by the US president in the elections in Israel," senior Likud officials told Israel HaYom, an openly pro-Netanyahu daily.

Others told The Jerusalem Post the US leader was "taking revenge" on Netanyahu for his overt support for Obama's rival during the presidential race in November.

Netanyahu's bureau refused all comment on the article.

But Danny Danon, number five on the Likud list, said such commentary would only bring Netanyahu -- who is already the clear frontrunner -- more votes.

"Any external intervention attempts only brings us more seats," he told the top-selling Yediot Aharonot.

Opposition figures leapt at the chance to attack Netanyahu.

"Anyone who still thinks things will be okay, woke up this morning to a very clear and sharp statement by the US president, who says that Israel's prime minister is leading the State of Israel into severe isolation," said former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, head of the centrist HaTnuah faction.

In the article, Goldberg wrote that Obama was unsurprised when Israel announced plans to build in E1, a highly-sensitive area of West Bank land near Jerusalem, suggesting it was "what he has come to expect" from Netanyahu's "self-defeating policies."

Although the US would not cut off its aid to Israel, the Jewish state could soon notice a "significant shift" on the diplomatic front, he wrote.

"It is in terms of American diplomatic protection -- among the Europeans and especially at the UN -- that Israel may one day soon notice a significant shift," he said, suggesting the US may fail to whip up votes against perceived anti-Israel resolutions, or even abstain.

 

Egypt declares three-month state of emergency in Sinai

Lebanon army attacks Islamists as violence spreads to Tripoli souks

Dozens dead in Huthi-Qaeda clashes in central Yemen

Punishment for sexual assault in Iran: Execution of victim!

European clubs step up campaign against winter World Cup in Qatar

Turkey keeps 24 people under observation after yellow powder scare

Russia denies Kerry claims: No agreement to train Iraq army

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests