Peres: Obama Has Done Lots for Israel
President Shimon Peres, fresh off his final visit to Washington as Israel’s president, told Channel 10 News on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama has done a lot for Israel.
"What has he not done for Israel that we asked them to do?" Peres said. "He vetoed UN condemnations of Israel, did things that I do not know that anyone else would have done."
"All the people in the defense establishment say that, in terms of security, there has never been such a relationship between Israel and the United States,” he continued.
“Obama has never said a word to condemn us, so on what basis are people talking? I look at the results, he says things that make sense," Peres added.
"Obama reveals rigor and consistency in his attitude toward the Jewish people and the State of Israel," concluded the President. "And that’s despite the fact that, unlike previous presidents, he had no background of working with Jews. It serves no purpose to delve into personal matters that in the end will amount to gossip."
On Thursday in Washington, Peres received the Congressional Gold Medal at Congress, in his farewell appearance as he steps down from his post next month.
The gold medal, which features a portrait of Peres, has engraved on it a quote by the president reading: "you are as great as the cause you serve."
The U.S. and Israel share an "unbelievable and unbreakable friendship," Peres told Congress in his speech, adding, "Whether through military assistance and security cooperation, or through diplomatic and moral support, you sent us a clear message: that we are not alone."
While Peres has enjoyed a close friendship and working relationship with Obama, the same cannot be said about Obama’ relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
In fact, it can be said that the two have had tense relations and Obama seemed to have taken it a bit too far when a book written by two American journalists quoted the president as having said that “Bibi Netanyahu is a pain in the a**" when discussing the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs.
Days before the last Israeli elections, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, who is close to Obama, wrote that the President had said repeatedly that Israel does not know what its own best interests are.
Obama, according to Goldberg, had said that Netanyahu “is moving his country down a path toward near-total isolation” every time he announces new construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
A month and a half before the Israeli elections, Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel criticized Netanyahu over what was perceived as his public support of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
During Obama’s first term, the White House was embarrassed when French media reported on a conversation between Obama and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy about Netanyahu.
In that conversation, Sarkozy had said, “I cannot stand him. He is a liar.” Obama reportedly replied, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!” The two, who thought they were having a private conversation, did not know that their microphones were open and that reporters outside could hear what they were saying.
The White House would not deny or confirm the conversation with Sarkozy took place, but insisted Obama had a good relationship with the Israeli prime minister.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)