Israeli Officials Weary Over Netanyahu’s Improved Ties With Obama

A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil; but the fool behaveth overbearingly, and is confident. (Proverbs 14:16)

Obama
US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, September 30, 2013. (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Flash90)

Both current and former Israeli Knesset members expressed serious concerns on Monday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s seemingly improved relationship with President Barack Obama with regard to both Iran as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the Jerusalem Post. The strengthened ties between the two leaders appear to have occurred after a lengthy meeting held at the White House.

In the past, many Israeli officials on the Right had been pleased with the somewhat strained ties between Netanyahu and Obama, taking it as a sign that the Israeli Primer was refusing to truckle to American pressure. However, following the friendly manner in which the two have interacted, first in Jerusalem in March and now Monday in Washington, many Israeli officials worry that Israeli interests are now in jeopardy.

“They looked relaxed, for now,” Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said. “With all due respect to their words, we will have to judge their actions. We know there is an obligation [to diplomatic talks] on Netanyahu’s part and the will to make the talks succeed.” Danon said that the Right was surprised by the Oslo process and the Gaza Strip withdrawal, and another surprise must be prevented.

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin said Netanyahu’s conception that the world will take action to prevent a nuclear Iran has collapsed. He said it was now clear to all that Iran will proceed toward a military nuclear capability and the US will not take action to stop it.

“What Netanyahu needs to ask himself is not what Obama will do, but whether under his own watch, an extremist Muslim country that wants to destroy Israel like Iran will join the nuclear club,” Feiglin said. “That’s what history will judge him on. It is wrong to shift our security to the US. It shows we haven’t learned anything.”

Former MK Aryeh Eldad said Netanyahu and Obama were both “good actors,” adding that Netanyahu was far less relaxed than he looked with Obama and that the president was not relaxed because of the US’s own internal socioeconomic problems.

“Bibi gave up the Israel option for military action on Iran, and he is now relying on the US, which says we need to give up on the Palestinian issue in return,” Eldad said. “He understands the fight is lost. He sacrificed the land of Israel and didn’t get Iran in return.”