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.