Netanyahu jabs at WH: Israelis know what’s best for Israel, thanks

posted at 6:01 pm on January 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Israelis are set to hit the polls for parliamentary elections on January 22nd, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a third term in office, and his prospects for reelection are looking fairly solid. His campaign is touting the rise of a nuclear Iran as priority numero uno, even over conflicts with the Palestinians, and recent polls are indicating that Netanyahu is the favorite leadership candidate for the coalition government.

It’s no secret that Netanyahu and Obama have a reportedly frosty relationship, but Bibi may be putting some of the president’s pre-election testiness to his own advantage to help boost his own campaign and bolster his characteristic no-nonsense, straight-talking image:

A day after US columnist Jeffrey Goldberg quoted US President Barack Obama as saying that Israel under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not know what is in its own best interest, Netanyahu visited the Gaza border Wednesday, was told that December was the quietest month in the last 12 years, and essentially replied to Obama: “Yes I do.”

“I think everyone understands that only Israel’s citizens will be the ones to determine who faithfully represents Israel’s vital interests,” Netanyahu said on a visit to an army base near Gaza in his first direct response to Obama’s reported criticism. “Over the last four years we stood up against strong pressure, and I will continue to do so for Israel’s security.

Fox News points out that the circulation of Obama’s reported comments, far from being detrimental for Netanyahu’s leadership prospects, might only help to band Israelis together further ahead of the election:

“Obama’s comments may well have the reverse effect in that many Israelis, even if they are not Netanyahu supporters, they are certainly not Obama supporters and may feel they should now come out and vote for Bibi.”

The remark, which was relayed as a private comment in a column written by Jeffrey Goldberg for Bloomberg News, comes as Netanyahu faces an election of his own and is being widely viewed in Israel as meddlesome payback, not to mention a diplomatic trespass. But if that is the case, it may boomerang.

Senior representatives in Netanyahu’s governing Likud party seethed, accusing Obama of “gross interference.” But instead of undermining Netanyahu’s campaign, Idan Kweller, political correspondent for Israel’s high-profile Galay Tzahal radio, told FoxNews.com that the president’s comments may have had the reverse effect.

Sen. Rand Paul, who recently visited Israel with his own 2016 presidential ambitions certainly in mind, echoed Netanyahu’s sentiments earlier:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described President Obama as “arrogant and presumptuous” for reportedly claiming to have a better understanding of that country’s best interests than Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Paul, who just returned from a trip to Israel, followed with a more general statement. “[I]t’s not  American politicians’ business to be dictating the answers,” he said. “I think it’s just presumptuous and arrogant of us to think, well, we’re going to go down to a roadmap of Jerusalem and decide where the neighborhoods can be expanded?”


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Aaaawwww….who could’ve predicted that Hussein will threaten a Jew janitor ?
AGAIN .

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Obama thinks a Kenyan knows better for American than an American too.

wildcat72 on January 16, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Yeah see…? Obama is a uniter! Bringing all the Jews in Israel together to vote for Bibi.

CitizenEgg on January 16, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Some 85% of Americans living in Israel voted for Romney.

The president is not very popular over there.

aunursa on January 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Obama thinks he’s King of the World.

His intellectualism has no boundaries or borders.

portlandon on January 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

US President Barack Obama as saying that Israel under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not know what is in its own best interest

Remember the halcyon days of yore when even alluding to such an idea would send Code Pinko, MorOn.org and leftists of every stripe into a frothing rage? Those were good times.

Days of yore = 2000-2009

Bishop on January 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Then return the $3 billion dollars in foreign aid we give Israel every year, douchebag.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Then return the $3 billion dollars in foreign aid we give Israel every year, douchebag.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Go suck your finger, you crazed-up Muzzie camel jockey. The money belongs to Israel according to Camp David Treaty. Return Israel the Sinai Peninsula and defund Egypt, and you can choke on your money.

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Then return the $3 billion dollars in foreign aid we give Israel every year, douchebag.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

You mean he should be more grateful than the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups in the ME?

Or killing (or supporting such) ambassadors, seals and support staff.

Or should he be doing that in order to increase his “gratefulness quotient”.

kim roy on January 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Remember the halcyon days of yore when even alluding to such an idea would send Code Pinko, MorOn.org and leftists of every stripe into a frothing rage? Those were good times.

Days of yore = 2000-2009

Bishop on January 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Or the other title: When Republicans Are In Office.

kim roy on January 16, 2013 at 6:31 PM

HEY BEN ! … If the American citizens don’t know what’s good for them, what makes you think the Israelis do?

listens2glenn on January 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Bibi is a shoe in if Obama is hinting he backs the other guy.

docflash on January 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I hope Bibi gets enough votes to rule in his own right. I don’t like coalitions.

OldEnglish on January 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Don’t jab the WH, pile drive the WH right in the throat.

royzer on January 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Thank God for Israelis and bibi. The only ones with the courage to tell obamao basically to go f himself. There sure is a big difference between American jews and the Israelis.

johnny reb on January 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Then return the $3 billion dollars in foreign aid we give Israel every year, douchebag.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Fair enough.
Will your emir Idi Hussein Odinga also stop the billions and billions of dollars he sends for jihad all over the world ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Go suck your finger, you crazed-up Muzzie camel jockey. The money belongs to Israel according to Camp David Treaty. Return Israel the Sinai Peninsula and defund Egypt, and you can choke on your money.

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Yes, you’re right. They’re entitled to American taxpayer money because a law (treaty) says so. Of course, all of the entitlements bankrupting us into the gutter are based in law too, so I guess all the money that various recipients of government largess receive “belongs” to them too. Don’t ever call yourself a conservative. If you think a treaty entitles Israel to the sweat of my brow then you are a fraud and a thief.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Fair enough.
Will your emir Idi Hussein Odinga also stop the billions and billions of dollars he sends for jihad all over the world ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

The difference between that kind of foreign aid and the aid that Israel receives is that so-called “conservatives” don’t blindly support it like they do with all the taxpayer money the very wealthy state of Israel regularly receives.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

There is chasing good money after good, and good money after bad – learn the difference.

OldEnglish on January 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Armin @ 6:46

Maybe that’s because we don’t take too kindly to murderous savages that hide behind women and children to further their terroristic goals.

johnny reb on January 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM

There is chasing good money after good, and good money after bad – learn the difference.

OldEnglish on January 16, 2013 at 6:50 PM

I don’t care to parse the difference between what kind of government theft is “good” versus “bad”. Once you try to go down that road you’ve already given up on any attempt to reign in the size of the federal government, because there are a million “good” reasons that can be provided as an excuse for any and every government expenditure under the sun.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

The difference between that kind of foreign aid and the aid that Israel receives is that so-called “conservatives” don’t blindly support it like they do with all the taxpayer money the very wealthy state of Israel regularly receives.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Do the American taxpayers have the right to decide who their money goes to ?
Do the American taxpayers have the right to give their own money to their friends ?
Do the American taxpayers have any duty to knowingly
fund jihad against themselves ?
Why do American taxpayers have to pay for Hussein’s friends so that he can threaten America’s friends ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Do the American taxpayers have the right to decide who their money goes to ?
Do the American taxpayers have the right to give their own money to their friends ?
Do the American taxpayers have any duty to knowingly
fund jihad against themselves ?
Why do American taxpayers have to pay for Hussein’s friends so that he can threaten America’s friends ?

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Was Barack Obama not lawfully elected by a majority of the electorate? Yes, yes he was. So according to your logic, the American taxpayers have decided to fund payments to “Hussein’s friends” just as much as they’ve decided to fund the Israel slush fund.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Yes, you’re right. They’re entitled to American taxpayer money because a law (treaty) says so. Of course, all of the entitlements bankrupting us into the gutter are based in law too, so I guess all the money that various recipients of government largess receive “belongs” to them too. Don’t ever call yourself a conservative. If you think a treaty entitles Israel to the sweat of my brow then you are a fraud and a thief.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:44 PM

The fraud and the thief who set America up into this particular ditch was Jimmy “Dhimmi” Carter who signed the Accords for the USA and strongarmed Israel to do likewise. Israel lost a piece of real estate that is three times bigger than its whole territory in exchange for that money – as I see stuff, I’d rather have Sinai.

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Arim, no tanks or planes for Morsi or 4 billion, screw the Egyptians!

Drill and Fill on January 16, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

We hold differing descriptions of “theft” – I do not see the money as being wasted on the useless.

OldEnglish on January 16, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Was Barack Obama not lawfully elected by a majority of the electorate? Yes, yes he was.

We don’t even know how many Obama voters are even lawful voters in this country.

So according to your logic, the American taxpayers have decided to fund payments to “Hussein’s friends” just as much as they’ve decided to fund the Israel slush fund.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

American taxpayers did not decide that. Obama voters did, and unions , illegals and professional multi-generational moochers are not taxpayers. Hussein has no right to fund America’s enemies but then since they are his friends…..

burrata on January 16, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Some 85% of Americans living in Israel voted for Romney.

The president is not very popular over there.

aunursa on January 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

And 69% of Israelis in America voted for Obama

Kungfoochimp on January 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

And 69% of Israelis in America voted for Obama

Kungfoochimp on January 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Been hitting on the stupid bottle, eh dude? 69% of *Jews* voted for Barack Obama. You still remember the difference, right?

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 7:29 PM

My understanding is that Goldberg was quoting an Obama staffer who paraphrased Obama’s sentiments based on internal meetings, which is not the same as Obama issuing a public statement with those opinions.

Having said that, even if these sentiments are expressed in privacy to his senior staff they are extremely presumptuous and arrogant, which is possibly the most arrogant thing I’ve heard any American official express about Israel in recent memory.

It’s even worse than twisting Israel’s arm to meet American interests (which unfortunately has been done for decades).

Either way, what we just found out, Netanyahu and his team have known for a very long time. Netanyahu is expected to be forming the next coalition government, the center-left and left in Israel are splintered over issues of ego, and the right-of-Likud parties are gaining. I suppose, as a rightwinger, I should thank Obama’s leakers for leaking that opinion.

Anyone thinking that Netanyahu holds the keys to peace in the Middle East is dead wrong (and by “dead” I mean dead Jews in Israel). He is the guy who holds the fort against the west’s leftists and their genocider Muslim comrades who want to destroy Israel and kick every last Jew outta there — the ones that they don’t kill first.

AlexB on January 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Israelis are set to hit the polls for parliamentary elections on January 22nd, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a third term in office

…has JugEars filed yet?

KOOLAID2 on January 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Obama pretty much said what Secretary Gates said in earlier testimony at the end of his tenure as Secretary for Defense and after a long and respected career.

Bibi’s policies have left Israel isolated even from its traditional allies in the region and beyond.

lexhamfox on January 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Bibi’s policies have left Israel isolated even from its traditional allies in the region and beyond.

lexhamfox on January 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but today’s Bibi, the leader of the rightist Likud party, and Ariel Sharon before him when he was the prime minister, is more leftwing than the Israeli (and international) left’s darling, Itzhak Rabin, former leader of the leftwing Labour party.

Bibi and Israel have changed according to the world changing, and have tacked extremely to the left. Now this isn’t the US or any other “normal” country. These tacks have existential consequences. The world’s sensibilities may change, but Israel’s reality hasn’t changed, and so while the rightwing governments have tacked left, there comes a point at which it just isn’t possible to tack anymore left. That is Bibi’s policy, and unfortunately that is the policy that still gets him a bad rap.

The world needs to understand that it can bully and twist Israel’s arm only so much until Israel stops listening. Certainly the Israeli public is very angry from all the interference from the EU and the US over the years. I bet none of you are even aware of it because it’s not reported over here.

AlexB on January 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

that’s one leader I have great respect for! Bibi does know what’s good for Israel

sadsushi on January 16, 2013 at 7:59 PM

AlexB on January 16, 2013 at 7:54 PM

I attended university in Israel and Egypt. I have been to the West Bank and attended sessions between the Israelis and Palestinians with Loyalists and Republicans in Northern Ireland hosted by the UK.

I have a fairly good grasp of the issues. I think Secretary Gates does too. I do not agree that they have tacked ‘left’ as you put it. The coalition is more and more dependent on settlers and extremists than it has ever been. I actually think Bibi’s economic reforms have been badly needed and tack to the ‘right’ but his foreign policy has been pretty awful and Israel is more isolated as a result.

lexhamfox on January 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

lexhamfox on January 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

It’s good to see you’ve traveled the world, but Israeli culture and psyche is hard to learn in a year or 2 via the prism of university. You need to grow up there, to absorb the very rich and diverse culture – be it pop-culture or folk culture, humour, know about each sector of that society and its core beliefs and not through books, but through interaction, and you have to do it not as an observer but as one of the people.

Many international reporters travel to Israel for assignments and think they can tell people “I’ve been there, so I know”. Well, no they don’t. They visit the foreign-correspondent hanging spots in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, get some interviews with Israeli officials, and then leave without really knowing anything. It’s as if those same officials visited London or New York or were interviewed via skype.

I’ve grown up in Israel and I’ve followed up with friends and family and the Israeli press (English and Hebrew, left and right) over the years, so I could say I have a pretty good sense of what Israelis on average think.

My impression is that non-Israeli press get it wrong most of the time, just because the reporters lack all the contexts, or because their audience does. That’s normal though. So what I do is provide additional context.

AlexB on January 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

Been hitting on the stupid bottle, eh dude? 69% of *Jews* voted for Barack Obama. You still remember the difference, right?

Archivarix on January 16, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Do they?

Kungfoochimp on January 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Was Barack Obama not lawfully elected by a majority of the electorate? Yes, yes he was.
Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

No..no he wasn’t.
He garnered about 27% of the eligible voters support.

Mimzey on January 16, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Was Barack Obama not lawfully elected by a majority of the electorate? Yes, yes he was.
Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

No. He was lawfully elected by the electoral college. The citizen vote is not binding. It’s just a dog and pony show.

Dan_Yul on January 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Yes, you’re right. They’re entitled to American taxpayer money because a law (treaty) says so. Of course, all of the entitlements bankrupting us into the gutter are based in law too, so I guess all the money that various recipients of government largess receive “belongs” to them too. Don’t ever call yourself a conservative. If you think a treaty entitles Israel to the sweat of my brow then you are a fraud and a thief.

Armin Tamzarian on January 16, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I don’t see you complaining about other ‘wasted’ expenditures, or other instances of ‘misdirected’ foreign aid. I smell an anti-Semite in your commentary, Armin.

zoyclem on January 17, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described President Obama as “arrogant and presumptuous” for reportedly claiming to have a better understanding of that country’s best interests than Prime Minister Netanyahu.

For a POTUS who engages in “nation-building” (which he allegedly abhors) when it involves assisting our enemies, to lecture the MFIC in Israel is downright obscene.
IF the P-in-C still lived in the country that needs mandatory military service:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2004-03-25/indonesia-plans-compulsory-military-service/158106
He would soil himself and be married to a few women who produced progeny poised for poverty instead of silver spoon babies who are educated and protected by OUR money.
Barry Soetoro has once again proven that the rest of the world does not view him as their “messiah” or “savior”. Reality bites.
So does Pharaoh ‘Pharry’ Barry®.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on January 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM