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.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’