Israeli reactions to US President Barack Obama’s speech at the AIPAC Policy
Conference in Washington on Sunday were divided along party lines.
Negev and Galilee Development Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) criticized Obama for
saying that too much bluster played into Iranian hands and suggesting that it
led to higher gas prices.
“There is a saying that it’s easier to watch a
fire from far away,” Kara said. “We are facing an existential threat, not the
US. If Israel doesn’t bluster, the US will also be in danger, because Iran’s
missiles will reach them too. Israel is doing everything possible to keep the
world safe, and it’s unfortunate that the White House doesn’t see things the way
we see them here.”
MK Danny Danon (Likud) mocked Obama’s promises to
protect Israel’s security.
He said history had proven that Israel can
rely only on itself.
“Looking back at the way the United States
criticized Israel for destroying the nuclear reactor in Iraq, Israel must make
its decisions based on its own good judgment,” Danon said.
Shelly Yacimovich called Obama’s speech unquestionably pro-Israel.
speech in Herzliya, she wished Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu well in his
meeting with the president.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni blamed tension
between Netanyahu and Obama on the prime minister. She predicted that there
would be a large gap between Obama’s praise for Israel in his speech and what he
would say to Netanyahu behind closed doors.
“Relations between Israel and
the US have become political during Netanyahu’s term,” she said. “Netanyahu made
Israel an issue in the American election and it’s a mistake. Netanyahu must
understand that relations with the US are an essential need.
deterrence depends on it. He will be tested on whether he is able to draft the
US into our interests or whether he will continue just manipulating internal