Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Ripped for Bowed Head, Lauded for 'Standing Firm'

National Union MK says PM's body language humiliated Israel but Minister Yishai lauds him for 'standing firm.'
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/22/2009, 9:32 PM / Last Update: 9/23/2009, 12:01 PM

Flash 90

MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday over his body language in Tuesday's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in New York.

"The photo of Netanyahu bowing his head in front of Obama humiliates Israel,” Ben-Ari said. “The Prime Minister is behaving like an American official who has been berated,” he explained. “He must remember that Jewish pride is more important than pleasing the sinking American president.”

Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) disagreed and said that “the Prime Minister's firm stance removed another part of the Palestinian mask.”

MK Danny Danon (Likud) castigated Obama and said that “the meeting proves again that we do not live in a Hollywood film.” Obama, he added, “needs to understand that charisma is not enough for making peace. I hope that the meeting cuts short the Hollywood movie that Obama is living in.”

'Courageous Decisions Needed'
Minister Benny Begin (Likud) said that “what is now happening in New York is proof that Israel did not accept [PA Chairman] Abu Mazen's precondition about a complete freeze of construction.” He said that “saying that Jews do not have the right to build in Judea and Samaria means that in the end, there will be no settlement blocs either.”

MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) said that “Obama turned over the Middle East's hourglass this evening and we must not ignore that. Netanyahu needs to make courageous decisions in the coming period and factional and coalition considerations must not serve him as an excuse for not progressing in the peace process.”

"In the face of the right-wing front of opposition Netanyahu has to know that Kadima, whose policy this is, will back him in any serious negotiation he leads.”