PM Slams Peace Now for Sabotaging Obama Meeting

Prime Minister says leftists displayed 'irresponsibility on an international level' as he met Obama to discuss sensitive subjects.

Gil Ronen,

Netanyahu and Obama meet at the White House
Netanyahu and Obama meet at the White House
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his anger at extreme leftist group Peace Now for what he said was an intentional attempt to sabotage his meeting Wednesday with US President Barack Obama.

The organization leaked to the press that a plan for construction in Jerusalem had been approved, just as he met Obama – and the US responded with a statement of denouncement.

"This is irresponsibility on the international level, for some element to publish a statutory plan in order to sabotage a very important meeting that dealt with the Iranian nuclear program, our basic security questions and Islamic State (ISIS),” Netanyahu told Channel 2's Amit Segal in an interview that will be aired after Yom Kippur.

Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz also strongly condemned Peace Now for its attempt "to sabotage" the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama by engineering an outcry over the approval of 2,610 new building tenders in Jerusalem's Givat Hamatos neighborhood. 

"The building in Givat Hamatos will strengthen Jerusalem from the South and that is good," said Katz, and echoed claims by Jewish land rights NGO Regavim that the entire episode was fabricated for political purposes

"The final approval was already signed last week," he noted, "But Peace Now, a worthless organization, whose budget mostly comes from foreign sources, leaked the news the same day as the Prime Minister's meeting with the President of the United States, in order to poison the atmosphere."

Regavim, a watchdog group for Jewish national property rights, said Thursday that it was not clear why the US was criticizing Israel's construction of homes in Jerusalem. “The building plans for this project were approved in 2011, so it was well known that homes would be built in Givat Hamatos,” the group said.

“The reason the issue is coming up now is because the far-left Peace Now is desperate to harm Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his trip to the US, to the extent that it is recycling old news.”

The United States responded to Peace Now's report by condemning Israel's plansDuring their meeting Obama told Netanyahu that he is very "concerned" about the building."

After the meeting, White House spokesman Josh Earnest warned that the implementation of the construction plans would send a "very troubling message" to the world. 

"This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, [and] distance Israel from even its closest allies," Earnest said.




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