WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel dismisses talk that President Barack Obama will seek “revenge” against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his second term.
During a joint appearance with Netanyahu at Tel Aviv University Wednesday, Ambassador Dan Shapiro says it’s “ridiculous” Obama would hold a grudge against Netanyahu.
“Anyone who knows the president understands that this is not how he thinks,” Shapiro said, according to The Times of Israel. “The president is a strategic thinker; his policies are not governed by emotion.”
Netanyahu congratulated Obama, saying he looks forward to strengthening ties with him.
“I look forward to working with President Obama to further strengthen this relationship and I look forward to working with him to advance our goals of peace and security,” Netanyahu said, according to The Associated Press.
YNet News reports Netanyahu ordered members of his Likud Party and Knesset members not to comment on Obama’s re-election until running their statements by his office first.
The two have had a chilly relationship since Obama first took office in 2009.
The leaders have clashed diplomatically on how to deal with Israeli settlement construction in territory claimed by the Palestinians and on how to handle Iran’s quest to develop a nuclear weapon.
Obama has also faced criticism for not visiting the Jewish state during his first term, but he did travel to Israel during his 2008 campaign.
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