Friday, May 20, 2011
Netanyahu associate: Obama detached from reality
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s associates expressed their disappointment with Obama’s speech Thursday, with one aide saying that the US president is detached from regional realities.
The PM’s associates told Ynet early Friday that Netanyahu, who departed to the US Thursday night, is prepared for a confrontation with Obama on vital issues.
Referring to the US president’s Mideast policy speech, a Netanyahu associate said: “He (Obama) didn’t deliver the goods…Obama apparently does not understand the reality in the Mideast.”
The PM’s aides added that Obama’s historic speech lacked many key points and that his address was “bad for Israel.” Netanyahu himself issued a quick response to the speech earlier, demanding that the president reaffirm previous US pledges that Israel will not be asked to withdraw to the 1967 borders in the framework of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
In his Washington speech, Obama said that a Jewish, democratic state must be based on the 1967 borders, with territorial tradeoffs. The president voiced his objection to the Palestinian intention to seek UN recognition of statehood in September, but refrained from addressing the contentious issue of Palestinian refugees.
Obama also refrained from harshly slamming the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement, and reminded Netanyahu that the international community was getting tired of a process that has not culminated in a peace deal.