Rivlin Obama and Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Reuven Rivlin said on Thursday that the tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama have him “worried” because “for the first time I see that we are in isolation.”
The president made the remarks as part of a wide-ranging interview with The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister daily Ma’ariv.
“Yes, I am very concerned about the front that has been opened up between Obama and Netanyahu [and its impact on] relations with the United States,” Rivlin said. “The prime minister has waged a campaign against the US as if the two sides were equal. And this is liable to hurt Israel itself. I must say that he understands the US better than I do, but, nonetheless, I must say that we are quite isolated internationally.
“When you have a prime minister and a president of democratic countries such as the US and Israel turn into hawks, this concerns me greatly,” Rivlin continued.
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“I’m not an alarmist, but for the first time I see that we are isolated.”
The president also responded to the wave of criticism against him waged by far-right elements who do not like his conciliatory approach, particularly in light of recent hate crimes in Jerusalem and the village of Duma.
“I’ve already experienced similar things in my life,” he said. “I’ve never been ashamed to state my opinion.
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These people who are getting riled up and attacking me have no middle ground. You are either for them or against them. If you are against them, they seal their ears and don’t hear anything,” the president said. “And you are in trouble if you are not with them one million percent.
“I’m not afraid of them, and I won’t be deterred by them,” he said. “I’m an adherent of [Revisionist Zionism founder Ze’ev] Jabotinsky, who espoused a deep belief in the return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. But in the same breath, I also know that we are not alone here.
We are sitting here among other nations. We have no war with Islam, and whoever seeks such a war is insane.”