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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Likud hits back at Obama

The Likud hit back at the Obama administration this evening, accusing it of interfering in Israeli politics, while their rivals in Kadima denied the charge and expressed fear that a perception of American efforts to force Netanyahu out or to push Kadima leader Tzipi Livni into the cabinet could hurt their party.
The charges of American interference began April 16 when Yediot Aharonot quoted Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel telling an unnamed Jewish leader: "In the next four years there is going to be a permanent status arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of two states for two peoples, and it doesn't matter to us at all who is prime minister [of Israel]."

Likud Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled said Tuesday that the statement was inappropriate and was just one of many examples of American interference in Israeli politics since Netanyahu's election. Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon has accused Israeli leftist groups of coaching Obama's administration about how to handle Netanyahu.

Netanyahu himself appeared to endorse that assertion when he told a Likud MK over the weekend: "What do they want from me? Do they want my government to fall?"

Israeli diplomatic officials were quoted in Ma'ariv on Tuesday accusing the Obama administration of attempting to force Netanyahu to bring Kadima into his coalition and adopt its policies on the Palestinian state issue.

"They are pressuring Livni to retreat from her opposition to joining Netanyahu's government, so she can enter it and prevent the worsening of relations with the US," a diplomatic official was quoted as saying.

Likud MK Danny Danon, who has close ties with Christian evangelical leaders in the US, was most blunt in his criticism of Obama. He said Obama refused to admit that the public in Israel chose a different direction, just like America did.

"The American administration thinks that there were only elections in the US," Danon said. "Any attempt to intervene in Israeli politics only strengthens Netanyahu, who has the support of the public, especially after this interference."
A Livni confidante is quoted as saying that the problems are because the Obama administration does not trust Netanyahu, while Condoleezza Rice trusted her. I don't buy that.

While Bibi would not have had as smooth sailing with Bush during Bush's second term as Olmert did, it's fair to say that Israelis voted for change and clearly did not coordinate their votes or their perception of that change with the Obama administration or the American electorate. This is not a question of Bibi's integrity as Livni is trying to make it out to be. It's a question of a gaping policy difference between the American and Israeli governments that did not exist six months ago.

And yes, I believe that Obama would like to force Bibi out. Clinton did it to Bibi in 1999, Bush 41 did it to Shamir in 1992 and Abu Mazen is banking on Obama doing it again. The Likud is right to keep pointing out that kind of interference to the public. That interference is not in the public interest.


At 1:41 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

was rahm involvrd in '98?

Of note, on Freeper you would be pleased to see the support for Bibi-by goyim.
If only Americas Jews cared- ok 20% do.

At 2:16 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Daniel, I'd certainly appreciate it if you'd refrain from using the term "goyim". We know what it means; it's very derogatory. I find the Jewish Supremacist mindset disgusting.

We "goyim" are familiar with your Talmud, Torah, & Zohar.

To say the least.

At 5:08 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The US prefers Livni. But even those Israelis who back Kadima don't like the way the Americans are dictating to Israel. There's a virtual wall to wall consensus in Israel that the US is being high handed. By going public with a confrontation over "natural growth", the US has rallied Israeli public opinion behind Netanyahu and his government.


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