‘Top Line’ — GOP Senator: Obama Seeks to ‘Lower the Rhetoric’ with Israel

Mar 23, 2010 3:12pm

ABC News' Rick Klein reports: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with President Obama today at the White House, with two staunch allies in the midst of a tense time in a critical relationship. On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, who serves the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Obama’s mission will be to “lower the rhetoric” after Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel will continue to build new housing in East Jerusalem. “Look, we’re friends. We are close friends. We are close allies,” Risch said. “Friends have disagreements from time to time. And it isn’t the disagreements that set the boundaries of what your relationship is — it’s how you resolve those. … Look, let’s lower the rhetoric.  We all — we have the exact same objectives. Now, how you get to that objective, how you get to the bottom line, we may have a disagreement on that. But we’re friends. We’ll get through this. We’ve gotten through lots of other things before. We’ll get through this. This hasn’t in any way deteriorated the relationship between the United States and Israel.” Said Risch, who today spoke to the same AIPAC conference that Netanyahu headlined last night, said it’s important to understand the situation from the Israelis’ perspective. “We need to be very cautious about how we tell them how to do their business. Having said that, again, it’s important that we all pull the wagon together,” he said. “They are going to have a very frank discussion, and it’s important that it be done in a room with the doors closed. I think that will be very helpful.” Watch the interview with Sen. James Risch HERE.

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