Obama treatment of Netanyahu ’reprehensible’: US house speaker
US House of Representative Speaker John Boehner has blasted President Barack Obama for his “reprehensible” treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid unprecedented tensions between the White House and Tel Aviv.
"I think the animosity exhibited by our administration toward the prime minister of Israel is reprehensible," Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union".
He made the remarks when asked about Obama’s harsh criticism of Netanyahu over his pre-election remarks on the creation of a Palestinian state and about Arabs living in the occupied territories.
"I think the pressure they've put on him (Netanyahu) over the last four or five years have frankly pushed him to the point where he had to speak up," Boehner said.
Netanyahu said on March 17 that if he was re-elected to office, the Palestinians would not get the independent state they seek in the occupied West Bank, East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Gaza, which has been a key element of US foreign policy.
He had also warned that Arabs living in the occupied lands were going to the polls “in droves,” an assertion widely interpreted as racist and meant to suppress voters.
Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu were unusually forceful, the latest evidence that the toxic relationship between the White House and the Zionist regime has reached a new low.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress, where he ranted for nearly 40 minutes against the talks between Iran and 5+1 group, warning Washington that it was negotiating a “bad deal” with the Islamic Republic.
He was invited to speak at Congress by Boehner without consultation with the White House, drawing angry reaction from the Obama administration, which called it a breach of protocol.
The House speaker will travel to Israel this week for a trip he said was planned months ago, before Netanyahu's speech in Congress.