In a recent interview with The Atlantic, the Barack Obama slammed Benjamin Netanyahu – yet again.
While Bibi’s political party is – of course –unhappy with the American president’s criticism, it doesn’t really matter much as long as the U.S. Department of Defense is selling bombs to Israel.
After a rift opened between the two leaders over Iran’s nuclear program, relations between the two allies have been rather frosty. In addition, Netanyahu’s xenophobic comments during his reelection campaign made the situation for the U.S. even more awkward.
Obama stated in his latest interview with Jeffrey Goldberg that Netanyahu's anti-Arab remarks on Election Day could affect its foreign policy with Israel, adding the false portrayal of Arab voters as “an invading force that might vote” doesn’t conform with the language of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, according to which “all people regardless of race or religion are full participants in the democracy.”
"When something like that happens, that has foreign policy consequences, and precisely because we’re so close to Israel, for us to simply stand there and say nothing would have meant that this office, the Oval Office, lost credibility when it came to speaking out on these issues,” he said.
Tzahi Hanegbi, a senior Likud Party leader shot back at Obama saying it was “hypocritical” of him to call out Israel when “not a word of criticism” is heard from him on neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Obama, especially over the past few months, has been accused of leaning more toward Iran than Israel. Some right-wingers even called his administration anti-Semitic after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly warned that Israel risks becoming “an apartheid state.”
However, the fact remains no matter how much Obama disapproves of Netanyahu’s policies, he is as pro-Israel as any other American president.
While the mainstream media is vigorously reporting Obama’s criticism of Bibi’s statement, not much is being said about the $1.879 billion worth of advanced aerial weaponry U.S. just sold to Israel.
The deal includes “3,500 Mk-82 bombs; 4,500 Mk-83 bombs; 50 BLU-113 bombs; 4,100 GBU-39 Small Diameter bombs; 1,500 Mk-83 Paveway kits; 700 BLU-109 Paveway kits; 3,000 AGM-114K/R Hellfire Missiles, 250 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles; and 500 DSU-38A/B Detector Laser Illuminated Target kits for JDAMs,” according to the Pentagon.
Moreover, Obama’s unyielding commitment to defend Israel is further confirmed by the fact that he approved this arms package despite noting Israel “already has these munitions in its inventory.”
Sure, it looks like the diplomatic ties between the two long-term allies have started to deteriorate, but considering the awesome weapons deals that have been approved recently, Obama’s criticism could be termed “tough love” – certainly not anti-Semitism.