Likud US bashes Barack Obama

PMO: Netanyahu totally rejects NGO’s statement.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 22, 2010 02:26
2 minute read.
US President Barack Obama.

Obama serious 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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The American Friends of Likud organization released a surprising statement over the weekend criticizing US President Barack Obama.

Under the headline “Obama administration embarrasses Americans when it humiliates allies and shows weakness toward enemies,” the press release defended the decision to build 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood and accused Obama of overreacting to it.

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“The disproportionate, scripted remarks from Secretary of State Clinton to Prime Minister Netanyahu were a pre-meditated exercise by the administration to embarrass and humiliate the democratically elected leader of a staunch US ally,” the press release said.

“It follows a pattern of deliberately embarrassing allies such as Britain, France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as Israel in 2009, while appeasing bitter enemies such as North Korea and Iran. The failure of the administration to impose on Iran the biting sanctions overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress is appalling, yet revealing.”

The organization urged the Obama administration to “cease embarrassing the American people when it humiliates our democratic friends and displays weakness toward our autocratic foes.”

American Friends of Likud describes itself as a Jewish-American educational organization and stresses that it is not connected to the Israeli Likud Party or the Prime Minister’s Office. But two of the organization’s former directors in Israel, Ari Harow and Rivka Kidron, are currently advisers to Netanyahu. Harow, who is Netanyahu’s bureau chief, has resigned for health reasons and will leave his job at the end of the month.

“We are not coordinated with the Prime Minister’s Office and we are not concerned that this would be interpreted as an attack by Netanyahu on Obama,” said American Friends of Likud’s president, Dr. Julio Messer.

“We are an American organization, not an Israeli political party, and as Americans we are frustrated with some of the policies of the Obama administration.”



Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office distanced Netanyahu from the statement. The officials said that no one in the Prime Minister’s Office was aware of it before it was released.

“The American Friends of Likud’s statement does not represent the views of the prime minister, who totally rejects it,” Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer said.

Likud spokeswoman Nilly Richman said they first heard about the statement from the press, and it “does not represent the position of the Likud in Israel.”

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