Left slams Right for worries over better ties with Obama

"They don’t understand that without the world, Israel would not be able to exist for a minute.”

October 1, 2013 23:02
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Obama at Ben Gurion airport, March 20, 2013.

Netanyahu and Obama embrace 370. (photo credit: Jason Reeed/Reuters)

Knesset members on the Left expressed disappointment on Tuesday with politicians on the Right who had voiced concern over improving ties between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.

The MKs on the Left reacted to a story in Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post in which current and former right-wing legislators said they were worried that the good atmosphere before the cameras at Monday’s Netanyahu-Obama meeting was a sign that the prime minister was giving into American pressure on the Palestinian and Iranian issues.

"These people want Israel isolated and to be a nation that dwells alone,” Labor MK Nachman Shai said about his right-wing counterparts.

"They don’t understand that without the world, Israel would not be able to exist for a minute.”

Shai, who heads the Knesset Caucus on US-Israel Relations, said Obama had once again shattered what the MK called a myth that the president is anti-Israel. He said the meeting was even more friendly when taking into account that Obama spent hours with Netanyahu even though he was in the middle of dealing with a crisis over the shutdown of the US government.

Labor MK Hilik Bar said “the extreme right is acting against Israel when it is sad about closer ties between Israel and its best friend in Washington.”

Both Labor leadership candidates expressed satisfaction with the Obama-Netanyahu meeting. Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said the meeting proved wrong the pessimists who hurried with predictions of negative scenarios.

Yacimovich’s challenger, MK Isaac Herzog, said the lesson of the meeting was that “our determination on the nuclear issue will only be effective if we display the same determination for the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.”

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