Israeli Official: Obama ‘Failing To Put Israel At Ease’
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A top Israeli official is saying the President Obama is “failing to put Israel at ease.”
Speaking to The Times of Israel, the unidentified official believes the president is leaving Israel in the wind in regards to Iran.
“(Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) looks around him and sees what’s on his plate. Lebanon and Syria, the situation in Sinai and Egypt,” the official told the paper. “Jordan looks stable, but it’s not at all. Iran and Gaza and Hezbollah. And he says to the Americans, ‘the greatest danger by far is Iran. Will you take care of Iran?”
The official drew comparisons between Obama and former President Bill Clinton, saying the popular ex-president would make Israel feel that the U.S. stands firmly behind them.
“President Clinton made us feel like he had our back,” the official told The Times of Israel. “When we made concessions that were greater than anything an Israeli government had ever offered, we felt he’d be there if things went bad. Would he have been there? I don’t know. But it felt that way, and it put us in a different frame of mind. President Obama doesn’t give us the same sense that he’d be there.”
The official added that Obama is just not a friendly world leader.
“(Obama) just doesn’t seem to make friends. Not with anyone. He isn’t friendly with David Cameron either.”
Obama has been criticized for reportedly denying a request for Netanyahu to visit the White House while he is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Netanyahu has called for the president to take a “red line” with Iran in order to stop the Islamic country’s nuclear proliferation and has repeatedly hinted that Israel might launch a military strike against Iran.
But speaking before the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Obama appeared to take a tougher line with Iran, warning that a peaceful outcome is running out of time.
“Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama said. “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the unraveling of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated to CBS News Monday that Tehran is not developing a nuclear weapon.
“Let’s even imagine we have a nuclear weapon. What would we do with it?” Ahmadinejad told CBS News. “What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?”
He also added: “Because of our beliefs, we do not believe in a nuclear weapon. We are against it.”