Tags: Barack Obama | Israel | israel | ambassador | benjamin netanyahu | visit | john boehner

Israeli Ambassador: Boehner's Job to Tell Obama About Netanyahu

By    |   Friday, 30 Jan 2015 08:04 PM

Israel's ambassador to the United States says it was House Speaker John Boehner's responsibility to give a heads-up to the Obama administration about his invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Ambassador Ron Dermer said it was never Netanyahu's intention to disrespect President Barack Obama.

"It was … made clear to me that it was the Speaker’s responsibility and normal protocol for the Speaker’s office to notify the administration of the invitation," Dermer tells The Atlantic.

"That is why I felt it would be inappropriate for me to raise the issue with the administration, including in my meeting with the secretary of State, until the speaker notified them."

Dermer had a two-hour meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry the day before Boehner announced the prime minister’s visit, The Washington Post reports.

The ambassador also dismissed accusations of a strained relationship between Israel and the United States, saying Netanyahu has a "great deal of respect" for Obama.

"The prime minister and the president have disagreed on issues, but the prime minister has never intentionally treated the president disrespectfully—and if that is what some people felt, it certainly was not the prime minister’s intention," he tells The Atlantic.

"I can tell you, as someone very close to the prime minister, that he has a great deal of respect for the president."

Dermer rejected out-of-hand the suggestion there's personal animosity between Netanyahu and Obama.

"I know that people are trying to turn this into a personal or a partisan issue, but for Israel, it is neither," Dermer tells The Atlantic. "It is about an issue that affects the fate of the country."

The Obama administration has slammed Boehner for inviting the prime minister, calling it a breach of diplomatic protocol, and neither Obama nor Kerry are meeting with Netanyahu when he comes to Washington in March.

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Israel's ambassador to the United States says it was House Speaker John Boehner's responsibility to give a heads-up to the Obama administration about his invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.
israel, ambassador, benjamin netanyahu, visit, john boehner, congress, barack obama
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2015-04-30
Friday, 30 Jan 2015 08:04 PM
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