Left says Netanyahu should apologize to Obama

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
May 22, 2011 21:56

After AIPAC speech, MKs praise Obama for clarifying aspects of Mideast speech; blame PM for portraying Thursday speech in negative light.

1 minute read.



Obama meets with Netanyahu in the Oval Office

Obama, Netanyahu meeting in Washington GALLERY 465 (R) 3. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should apologize to US President Barack Obama for questioning his pro-Israel credentials following the speech he delivered at the AIPAC conference in Washington, MKs on the Left said Thursday.

The MKs praised Obama for clarifying certain aspects of Thursday's Middle East address and criticized Netanyahu for portraying the speech in a negative light.

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“Except for singing Hatikva, Obama expressed in his speech all the foundations of Zionism and the clearest interests of Israel,” Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz said. “Instead of issuing political spin about a crisis to appease his coalition, Netanyahu should adopt Obama’s vision and advance Israel to a diplomatic agreement with American support.”

Kadima MK Shlomo Molla added that “instead of looking for ways to find favor with his right-wing coalition partners, Netanyahu should get his act together, act like a leader, and get Israel out of its current diplomatic coma by accepting Obama’s plan.”

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said she would not criticize Netanyahu from abroad, but that a diplomatic stalemate was not in Israel’s interests.

She added that a crucial element of Israel’s deterrence that must not be harmed is the message to the world that Israel and the US were working together.

Likud MK Carmel Shama- Hacohen said Netanyahu should be given credit for Obama’s change in tone, saying that “the prime minister’s smart actions and his determination bore fruit in President Obama’s speech.”

But the hard Right complained that Obama had not changed his tune on what really mattered: the sequence of the talks with the Palestinians.

“We won’t pay Obama’s tuition,” said MK Danny Danon (Likud). “With all due respect for his attempt to purify his speech from Thursday, the principles he outlined are still dangerous for Israel. I call upon the prime minister to continue to stand for his principles in his speech to Congress on Tuesday.”

Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.


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