Politics

Netanyahu insists Obama just as much a friend of Israel as George W. Bush

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

One of the critiques leveled at President Barack Obama has been that he isn’t as strong an ally of Israel as his predecessors were — a concept emphasized by many of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates in public statements.

But during Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disagreed with that criticism. He praised the American people and American politicians, including President Obama, for their support of Israel.

“This is the truth about America: Israel enjoys tremendous bipartisan support, tremendous,” Netanyahu said. “And you just have to walk around the breadth and length of this country, you know — fly, it’s a big country. And everywhere you go, you see this tremendous, tremendous sympathy and affinity for Israel. This is one of the great blessings that Israel has in the 21st century. And I think that bipartisan support is expressed by any person who happens to be the president of the United States, including President Obama.”

Netanyahu added that to the Israeli people, the feeling is mutual.

“Every one of the U.S. presidents represent and acts on the tremendous innate friendship of the American people to Israel,” he continued. “And by the way — a piece of news — Israel is one country in which everyone is pro-American, opposition and coalition alike. And I represent the entire people of Israel who say ‘thank you, America,’ and ‘we are friends of America.’ And we are the only reliable allies of America in the Middle East.”

On the topic of whether Obama is not as friendly toward Israel as George W. Bush and other previous presidents, Netanyahu said that wasn’t the case.

“They are all friends of Israel, equally representing this friendship of America,” he declared.

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