Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | Israel | benjamin netanyahu | approval | ratings | barack obama

Wash. Post's Rubin: Netanyahu Sees Ratings Boost Despite Obama 'Fit'

Image: Wash. Post's Rubin: Netanyahu Sees Ratings Boost Despite Obama 'Fit'
(Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 05:46 PM

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has enjoyed higher approval ratings the last month ahead of his planned speech in front of a joint session of the United States Congress next month.

President Barack Obama was miffed at House Speaker John Boehner's decision to skirt the White House and invite Netanyahu to speak on March 3. The White House, along with other Democrat lawmakers, have voiced their opposition to Boehner's tactics.

The White House said Obama will not meet with Netanyahu when he is in Washington, a move seen by some insiders as a not-so-subtle shot to the Israeli leader. But Netanyahu has seen his approval rating spike to 51 percent, up from 46 percent a month ago.

If Obama had any intention to deflate Netanyahu ahead of Israel's March 17 election, Jennifer Rubin writes for the Washington Post, the opposite rang true.

"If President Obama intended to damage Netanyahu back home by throwing a fit over the House invitation for him to speak, it surely did not work as planned," writes Jennifer Rubin. "The effort instead reveals just how woefully ignorant — or indifferent — Obama is about the region, about Israel and mostly about his own image."

With Iran becoming a growing threat with each passing day, what little stability the Middle East currently has is in jeopardy. According to experts, Iran is a nuclear-ready state with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of hitting the United States.

Obama critics say Obama has not done enough to help stop the threat Iran poses. And, one of the countries on Iran's priority list to attack is Israel.

"Obama in effect is saying 'shut up' to the leader of the country most affected by the Iranian threat. As bad as that may be, even worse is Obama’s refusal to discuss the issue in broader terms," Rubin writes.

"To the contrary, he is seeking rapprochement with Iran. His temper tantrum at the prospect that Netanyahu might discuss this within hearing range of lawmakers and the American people is not the sign of someone who is confident, has the facts on his side or knows what he is doing. The very fact that Obama made this into an international incident reminds Israelis — who overwhelmingly distrust him — how perilous their most important alliance is and how anxious Obama is to give away the store at the bargaining table."

Negotiations have been under way for months between Iran and the West, which is trying to convince Iran to disable its nuclear weapons program and become less of a threat to peace. A recent report claimed the Obama administration "has given the Iranians 80 percent of what they want" in the negotiations.

The framework of an agreement must be in place by March 24, while the framework of the deal has a June deadline.

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has enjoyed higher approval ratings the last month ahead of his planned speech in front of a joint session of the United States Congress next month.
benjamin netanyahu, approval, ratings, barack obama, snub, speech, congress, israel
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Wednesday, 04 Feb 2015 05:46 PM
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