Amid tension between the U.S. and Israel over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, an official Israeli government twitter account linked Tuesday to an article criticizing President Obama for “failing to put Israel at ease.”
“Israeli official: Obama doesn’t give us same sense Clinton did that he’ll be there if things go bad – Times of #Israel,” the official Twitter feed of the Israeli government press office posted.
The Times of Israel article in question quotes an anonymous government official saying, “President Clinton made us feel like he had our back [at Camp David]. When we made concessions that were greater than anything an Israeli government had ever offered, we felt he’d be there if things went bad. Would he have been there? I don’t know. But it felt that way, and it put us in a different frame of mind. President Obama doesn’t give us the same sense that he’d be there.”
The tweet came on the same day that Obama issued a stern warning to Iran before the U.N. General Assembly that the U.S. will “do what we must” to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that the time for diplomacy is “not unlimited.”
Obama, however, stopped short of drawing “red lines” that Iran cannot cross if it wants to avoid an American military response, as Netanyahu has demanded. Instead of ultimatums, the Obama administration has supported diplomatic negotiations and sanctions as the best approach to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“We’ve been very clear about certain red lines and our national security interests,” the president told The Des Moines Register in an interview Tuesday. “We’re not going to be able to control every aspect [of Middle East conflicts]…. What we can make sure of is our core interests are protected and that in our interactions with these countries that we’re always upholding our core ideals and our core values.”
Obama has come under fire for not meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while he is in the U.S. for the U.N. General Assembly this week, citing scheduling conflicts.
“The president has met with and spent time on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu more than with any leader since he took office,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters when asked why Obama is not making time to meet with Netanyahu. “That is reflective of the importance of and the closeness of the relationship between the United States and Israel, the importance of and the priority that the president places on America’s support for Israel’s security.”
“That cooperation and deep partnership continues every day. And the president had a very constructive conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu recently and I’m sure he will in the future,” he said.