US President Barack Obama has a big problem with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, despite denials by US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, former deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin said Tuesday.
Shapiro called reports about tension between the United States and Israel over Iran overheated and said the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu was “just what it needs to be.” But Beilin said he heard from his contacts in Washington that Netanyahu had crossed red lines.
“Whether the US administration admits it or not, they see Bibi [Netanyahu] as interfering in the US election and gambling on [Republican candidate Mitt] Romney winning,” Beilin said. “Shapiro says relations between countries are good, which is true. But the relations between the two leaders are very poor. I don’t remember it being so bad before, and Israel will pay a price for it.”
Beilin said the Obama administration was upset about the way Netanyahu received Romney in Israel, Romney’s fundraiser in Jerusalem and the prime minister’s close ties with the man spending billions to bring down the president: Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.