U.S./Israeli relations seem to be more strained today than ever before as the long time allies continue on two seperate pathways in dealing with Iran and the Iranian buildup of enriched uranium. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had some words of criticism this week aimed at the world’s six major powers led by President Barack Obama over how they were conducting nuclear talks with Iran. The attack underscored the fact that relations between the Israeli and U.S. leaders are as bad as they ever were, perhaps worse, just as the presidential election in the United States gets into full swing.
Prime Minister Netanyahu accused the world powers of stalling their talks with Iran over its nuclear program. His criticism came 1 day after the first meeting between Iran and representatives from the five-plus-one countries: Russia, China, France, Great Britain and the United States – plus Germany.
“My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie to continue enrichment of uranium without any limitation, any inhibition,” Mr. Netanyahu said, referring to the five-week hiatus before the second round of the talks. Mr. Netanyahu is among Iran’s harshest critics, arguing unceasingly that the Islamic Republic not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and threatening that if the international community did not prevent this from happening, Israel would.
So strident was the Netanyahu remarks that President Obama felt compelled to reply while on his visit to Columbia. Iran had gained nothing from the opening round of talks, Obama proclaimed, and the stalled talks were certainly did not represent a “freebie.” The Israeli government, however, was not appeased. One senior Israeli minister was quoted Wednesday of saying that the Obama administration has an interest in dragging the talks out until after November’s election.
Initial indications are Mr. Netanyahu would be more comfortable with the views on Iran held by Mitt Romney, the leading Republican candidate who is looking more and more like Obama’s opponent in the 2012 election. It was the former Massachusetts governor who last year uttered the line that in his Mideast policies, Mr. Obama had “thrown Israel under the bus.”
Ironically, Romney and Netanyahu are old friends, who first got to know each other more than 35 years ago when their early careers overlapped at the Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Netanyahu, then 26, had been at MIT studying management; Mr. Romney, then 29, had just graduated from Harvard. “He [Mr. Netanyahu] was a strong personality with a distinct point of view,” Mr. Romney told the New York Times, the publication that first reported on this interesting intersection in the two mens careers. He added: “I aspired to the same kind of perspective. We can almost speak in shorthand,” Mr. Romney said. “We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar.”
The two men had breakfast together in Israel last year, and Mr. Netanyahu called Mr. Romney last month when the Prime Minister was in Washington.
While PM Netanyahu won’t(can’t) get involved in U.S. Politics, it’s rather obvious who his candidate of choice would be especially considering Barack Obama’s recent support of the muslim brotherhood lead coups in Egypt and Libya. The muslim brotherhood claims credit for the founding of the terrorist group Hamas, sworn enemy of Israel.
- Report: Deal With Iran Imminent as Players Act Out ‘Script’ for Public Consumption (news.antiwar.com)
- In ‘Time,’ Cantor joins himself at the hip with Netanyahu in defiance of Obama (mondoweiss.net)
- Close Bibi-Romney ties revealed (thejc.com)
- Obama responds to Netanyahu’s Iran ‘freebie’ comment (jta.org)