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Boehner Criticizes Obama’s Treatment of Netanyahu

March 31, 2015

John Boehner shakes Benjamin Netanyahu's hand

Speaker John Boehner welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to the U.S. Capitol in March 2012.  (Official Photo by Bryant Avondoglio)

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  (Proverbs 17:17) 

House Speaker John Boehner had harsh words for US President Barack Obama’s treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

Boehner invited Netanyahu to make his third speech before Congress, which focused on the contentious nuclear deal with Iran.

“I had one goal,” Boehner said in defense of making the invitation, “to make sure the American people heard and the Congress heard about the serious threat that Iran poses not only to the Middle East but to the rest of the world, including the United States.”

He added that Netanyahu gave the clearest explanation about this threat he has heard in 25 years.

John Boehner-Netanyahu-Congress

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the joint Congress Session in Washington DC, US.  (GPO Photo by Amos Ben Gershom)

The Prime Minister’s speech has, in fact, been lauded as “Churchilian” by many pundits. 

And in Netanyahu’s defense, Boehner added, “I think that the pressure that they [President Obama and his staff] have put on him over the last four or five years have, frankly, pushed him to the point where he had to speak up.  I don’t blame him at all for speaking up.”

Boehner also told Bash that he would move quickly to impose steep new sanctions on Iran if a deal was not struck.

When asked about Netanyahu’s comment during his election campaign that there will not be a Palestine state under his government, Boehner commented:

“He doesn’t have a partner.  How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when the other state has vowed to wipe you off the face of the Earth?  So until there’s a willing partner, willing to sit down and have peace talks, I think it’s irrelevant whether we’re talking about a two-state solution.”  (JPost)

When asked if his upcoming planned trip to Israel this week has anything to do with Netanyahu’s victory, Boehner said, “There are serious issues and activities going on in the Middle East, and I think it’s critically important for members of Congress to hear from foreign leaders, other governments, other parts of their government, to get a real handle on the challenges that we face there.”  (CNN)

He also said that the trip had been planned months before the recent election, and that he would take the opportunity to improve relations with Israel, promising, “I’m going to be myself, and if there’s anything I can do to repair it [the relationship], I’d be happy to do it.”  (Newsmax)

Hilary Clinton-Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Clinton in New York.  (2010 GPO Photo by Avi Ochayun)

Hillary Clinton, the front-running Democratic candidate for President in 2016 stepped into the fray in a telephone conversation with Malcolm Heonlein, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“Secretary Clinton thinks we need to all work together to return the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests,” Hoenlein said.

Clinton continues to support the two-state solution and direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Hoenlein said, adding that that Hillary’s words were especially important in light of the recent issues in our US-Israel relationship.

“We believe that it is particularly important, given the challenges Israel and the region are facing, that the US and Israel stand together to advance their shared concerns and interests,” Hoenlein added.  “There is too much at stake to do otherwise.”  (Algemeiner)

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