Outgoing President Obama told a listening world in a recently broadcast interview that “unfettered support” for Israel wasn’t smart international policy because it hampered the ability of concerned parties to achieve a two-state deal.
The New York Times has the story:
“U.S. President Barack Obama warned in an interview broadcast Tuesday that “unfettered support” for Israel’s settlement policies would lead to a “worsening situation” over time between Israelis and Palestinians.
“The interview with Israeli TV program ‘Uvda’ comes 10 days before Obama, who has been an outspoken critic of Israeli settlements, hands over to President-elect Donald Trump, who is expected to pursue a starkly different approach to the conflict. Trump’s election has buoyed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his pro-settler government.”
Obama was pretty blunt.
The interview was filmed in Washington a few days ago.
And his words: ““If the notion is that unfettered support for Israel or more specifically support for the Netanyahu government’s policies — no matter what they are, no matter how inimical they may be to the prospects for peace — if that’s what qualifies as a good friend, then I think that we will see a worsening situation over time.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t enjoyed the same warm relations with Obama’s White House that he has with past administrations. Bibi outright condemned Obama’s pressed nuclear deal with Iran, calling it dangerous for Israel and the region. And just lately, he criticized the failure of the Obama administration to veto a resolution at the United Nations that demanded the Jewish state stop building in settlement areas, a failure to act Netanyahu slammed as a betrayal.
The White House, meanwhile, continues to say its relations with Israel are solid. And Obama, in his recent interview, defended his failure to veto, calling it “the best move for peace.”