Likud blasts Hussein Obama for interefering in Israeli electiongross interference' in the Israeli election campaign.
Sources close to Netanyahu responded carefully, saying that the prime minister would continue to protect the country’s vital national security interests in the coming government that he would lead. The sources noted that Obama had said Israeli-US defense and security cooperation were at unprecedented levels, which was evident in US support for Israeli missile defense systems and diplomatic backing during Operation Pillar of Defense.
But Likud officials accused Obama of “gross interference” in the Israeli election and said the president was “taking revenge” against Netanyahu for his perceived intervention in the November US election on behalf of unsuccessful Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The officials said Obama had been swayed against Netanyahu by President Shimon Peres and former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who heads the Likud’s response team, said Goldberg was merely a dovish publicist trumpeting the views of the American far-Left.
“This is gossip a journalist wrote, and the facts suggest that the opposite is true,” Erdan said. “Israelis expect their prime minister not to give in to pressure, even if it would give them applause in the United States.”But another Likud MK, who has written an anti-Obama book, says that Goldberg's criticism is only going to bring more votes to the Likud.
Likud MK Danny Danon, who wrote an anti-Obama book, ironically defended Goldberg, saying that US Jews had a right to an opinion on Israel, no matter where they were on the political map. He expressed hope that Goldberg would continue writing against Netanyahu ahead of the election.
“Any interference will just give us more seats,” Danon wrote.In an email to the JPost, Goldberg said that those who believe that Obama and Netanyahu have a healthy relationship are deluding themselves.
Goldberg told The Jerusalem Post that he was amused by the reactions of Israeli politicians, especially accusations that he had conspired with the Israeli Left to maximize damage to Netanyahu. He said what he had written was consistent with statements Obama had made in the past about the need for Israel’s friends to hold up a mirror and tell the truth.
“In the administration, they saw that after Obama supported Israel in the Gaza conflict and at the UN, the next day Netanyahu wanted to build a new settlement in E1, and they threw up their hands in frustration,” Goldberg said. “I have picked up this chatter in the White House over the past two weeks, so I wrote it. I’m a journalist, writing about what’s happening, not trying to steer an Israeli election.”
When told about Erdan’s criticism of him, the columnist said, “That’s fine. Blame the messenger, but those who say that Obama and Bibi’s relationship is healthy are deluding themselves.”
Asked whether Obama wanted Netanyahu to win the election, Goldberg said he had no idea.At least Bill Clinton had a little more tact than to openly interfere.
But Israelis loved Clinton (for reasons that I have never entirely understood). They hate Obama. The next four years are going to be tense....