Israeli premier 'baffled' by President Obama

politics | Oct 06, 2014 | By Martin Barillas

Israeli leader said Benjamin Netanyahu said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ October 5 broadcast that he is  “baffled” by President Barack Obama’s assertion that if Israel goes ahead with new settlements in East Jerusalem that the Jewish State is at risk of condemnation by the United States. “I was baffled by this statement, because it doesn’t reflect American values,” Netanyahu told Bob Schieffer in an interview on Face the Nation. “What we’re being criticized for is that some Jewish residents of Jerusalem bought apartments legally from Arabs in a predominantly Arab neighborhood, and this is seen as a terrible thing.”
 
Obama and Netanyahu met in New York on October 1. As a fallout, there were criticisms directed at the Israeli premier from within the Obama administration. Netanyahu said that the White House should have “all the information” before making such statements. “Arabs in East Jerusalem, Palestinians, buy apartments, thousands of them, in the Jewish neighborhoods in West Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Nobody says ‘you can’t do it.’ If I said to you, in some place in the United States, ‘Jews cannot buy apartments here,’ there would be an uproar. I don’t accept this thing.”
 
Netanyahu pushed back on the ‘settlement’ classification used by Schieffer who asked about a “larger group of settlements” in East Jerusalem. The Israeli leader condemned efforts to prevent the mixing of Jews and non-Jews in housing as an “affront to peace.”
 
“I think actually this whole line that says that ‘Jews can’t buy apartments in Jerusalem,’ the capital of the Jewish people for the last 3,000 years since King David, or ‘you cannot have mixed housing projects for Jews and Arabs,’ I think this is anti-peace,” Netanyahu said. “I think condemning it is wrong. And I’m frankly baffled, I think it’s not the American way.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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