Obama’s offensive against Netanyahu backfires

Obama’s offensive against Netanyahu backfires

The Obama administration is going all out to see that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defeated, but the campaign of veiled threats and anonymous leaks is backfiring: Instead of sinking in the polls, Netanyahu is rising.

When Netanyahu accepted House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress in support of new sanctions on Iran, the Obama administration began a full-scale press offensive with a clear message: Netanyahu was endangering Israel by playing politics with the country’s relationship with the United States. Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned (through an anonymous aide) that “playing politics with that relationship could blunt [Kerry’s] enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender” and revealed that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency had told him that new a sanctions bill would be “like throwing a grenade” into the negotiations with Iran. A senior administration official declared ominously to Haaretz that “President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.” A member of “Obama’s inner circle” launched an attack against Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer in the New York Times, accusing him of having “repeatedly placed Mr. Netanyahu’s political fortunes above the relationship between Israel and the United States.” The Times noted “Such officially authorized criticisms of diplomats from major allies are unusual.” The message to Israeli voters was unmistakable: If they reelect Netanyahu, Israel will pay a “price.”

 

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