US President Barack Obama toasts with former president Shimon Peres after Obama was presented with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israel's highest civilian honor, in Jerusalem, March 21, 2013.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former president Shimon Peres criticized those in Israel who question the friendship of US President Barack Obama, suggesting that they were ungrateful.
Peres’s comments on Thursday came a day after Israel received from the US the new F-35 fighter jets in a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
“Yesterday was a very important day in the history of Israel,” said Peres. “The United States handed over to us one of the best planes in the world, the F-35, which will add great power to our air force.”
Peres said that at times like these, “We must stand up and say thank you to the United States and to US President Barack Obama, who granted us what America has not granted to any other nation.”
The former president said that there are those in Israel who “criticize America and think they know better than America what Obama should be doing.”
Peres accused these elements of “trying to harm and undermine the relations between the countries.”
He said that the Obama administration had acted to improve Israel’s security more so than any previous administration. “Those who question Obama’s friendship should look and see if they gave such a plane to any other country.”
Peres said it was important to show gratitude: “It wouldn’t hurt us to say thank you once in a while.”
The former president said he believes most Israelis truly feel this way about the Obama administration’s contributions to the country.