Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is handling Israel's dispute with the U.S. over the Iran nuclear deal in a "worrying" manner, President Reuven Rivlin said in an interview. In a pointed interview with Maariv to be published Friday, Rivlin said that “the Prime Minister is managing the issue with the U.S. as if we are equals. This could hurt Israel.”
In Israel, the president's job is ceremonial and administrative, and Rivlin says in the interview that he does not mean to criticize Netanyahu. “I must say that he understands matters relating to the United States much better than I, but I also must say that we are, on this issue, very isolated in the world.
“When there is prime minister and a president in two democratic countries that dig in on an issue like this, it is very worrying,” said Rivln. “I am not among those who usually become hysterical, but for the first time I see we are isolated.”
On Wednesday, Rivlin met with a delegation of Democratic US Congressmen, telling them that despite the disagreement over Iran, the Israel-U.S. relationship was secure. "We stand together in a partnership established on the strong foundations of common values and a shared vision, rooted in the long-standing commitment to democracy, liberal values, and human rights for each and every citizen," said Rivlin.
“These are not just slogans," he added. "The shared values of democracy and equality play a part in daily life, whether we are passing legislation, sending our children to school, or just walking down the street.”