Daily Israel Report

Emanuel Slams Netanyahu Over 'Support for Romney'

Obama is not willing to accept "Netanyahu's behavior", says ex-White House Chief of Staff. Interference in Israeli elections?
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/3/2012, 3:13 AM

Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Reuters

Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, has criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over what is perceived as his public support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the last election, Channel 2 News reported on Sunday.

Netanyahu did not support Romney in any perceivable way, but the obvious dislike and disrespect that Obama showed for Israel's democratically elected Prime Minister throughout his first term made it easy for anti-Netanyahu media to present the PM as being for Romney, thereby attempting to damage his image as a responsible leader who has to get along with whoever is elected.

Pro-Netanyahu sources said that the timing of Emanuel's remarks, during Israel's election period, is not coincidental.

According to the report, Emanuel said during a closed session at the Saban Forum in Washington that "Netanyahu supported the wrong candidate in the U.S. elections and lost."

Emanuel also said that the White House expects that Netanyahu’s treatment of President Barack Obama will be different, especially at this time. Polls before the U.S. elections, however, showed that a majority of Israelis were anti-Obama and found Obama's treatment of Netanyahu degrading. 

He said the President was not willing to accept "degrading treatment" by the Israeli Prime Minister. "It is inconceivable that the Prime Minister would behave the way Netanyahu is behaving,” said Emanuel, according to Channel 2.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that President Obama had been shocked to hear about the Israeli government’s decision to approve the construction of 3,000 Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem in response to the Palestinian Authority’s unilateral move at the United Nations.

The report claimed that Obama heard about the construction approval just several hours before it was reported in the media.

However, Netanyahu had warned on Thursday night, as the UN approved the PA resolution, that Israel would respond in the manner it would find appropriate.

“By going to the UN, the Palestinians have violated the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly,” said a statement by Netanyahu’s office.

Shortly after the announcement of the construction approval was made, the White House condemned Israel's decision as "counterproductive" and said it would make resuming peace talks harder.