Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama is rejecting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s assertions that his administration betrayed Israel by abstaining in the recent vote in the Security Council on the anti-Israel Resolution 2334.
Speaking with Israeli journalist Ilana Dayan on her program “Uvda” which airs on Channel 2, Obama insisted that Israel had a friend in the White House when he was in office but Netanyahu would not recognize his friendship. The interview will air in full on Tuesday and excerpts were released on Monday.
The outgoing President told Dayan that allegations against his administration "may work well with deflecting attention from the problem of settlements, they may play well with Bibi's political base, as well as the Republican base here in the United States, but they don't match up with the facts."
Obama stressed that he is president until January 20 and, as such, “I have an obligation to do what I think is right.”
Asked by Dayan whether he has “more surprises up his sleeve” or if Netanyahu can sleep well until January 20 when Donald Trump takes office, Obama replied, "I think the interesting question is whether Netanyahu will sleep better after January 20.”
Following the vote in the Security Council last month, Israeli officials criticized Obama for choosing to abstain and allowing the resolution to pass.
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, told CNN that Israel has proof that Obama's administration was behind the resolution.
"We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it," said Dermer.
Obama’s close adviser, Ben Rhodes, later fired back, telling Channel 2 that it was Israel who was to blame for the resolution being put to a vote.