Obama’s Speech Raises Tensions With Israel

Obama’s Speech Raises Tensions With Israel

HP Main - Beinart Obama Mideast Speech Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not like President Obama’s speech yesterday. Hours before Obama came out in support of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal based on Israel’s returning to its 1967 borders, Netanyahu made a furious phone call to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an attempt to change the president’s mind. Shortly after the speech, Netanyahu called Obama’s statements “indefensible”. Obama’s speech and Netanyahu’s rebuke came a day before the two are scheduled to meet in Washington. Relations between the two leaders have always been tense, but they’re especially high now. Netanyahu says he believes Obama is pushing Israel too far and wants him to use the U.S.’s diplomatic clout to protect Israel from an upcoming U.N. Vote on Palestinian statehood. Obama has indicated he’ll veto the vote, scheduled for September, but it’s unclear how far he’ll go in convincing other countries to do the same as long as Netanyahu refuses to get onboard with a plan to return his state to its 1967 borders.

Read it at The New York Times