Appearing on Fox News’ “Special Report” panel, columnist Steve Hayes questioned President Barack Obama’s Sunday statement that it’s “difficult” to hear people say the administration hasn’t looked out for Israel.
Hayes told host Bret Baier that if Obama wants to quell this notion, he “should, perhaps, have less anti-Israel policies. The Weekly Standard writer added that this will “solve the problem.”
Obama made the initial comments in an Easter Sunday interview with Thomas Friedman of The New York Times.
BRET BAIER: The president talked about what he said was anti-Israel comments that he’s hurt by.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It has been personally difficult for me to hear, sort of, expressions that somehow we don’t have — this administration has not done everything it could to look out for Israel’s interest.
BAIER: One more soundbite. Late this afternoon, the president was on NPR. He was asked by Israel’s push to say in this deal to get Iran to say that Israel can exist.
OBAMA: The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.
BAIER: Seems different. I mean, he is hurt by the anti-Israel comments, but then says that that’s not part of any possible deal.
STEVE HAYES: Well, if he doesn’t want people to say that he has been anti-Israel he should, perhaps, have less anti-Israel policies. That will solve the problem. The bigger challenge for the president he actually outlined the differences correctly. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to have a change in the behavior of the regime. Benjamin Netanyahu very clearly does. But as to the point of whether this benefits or whether this potentially threatens Israel, Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah chief, just said in an interview with Syrian state TV, “Iran will become richer and wealthier and will become more influential.” We’re seeing it now.