Tags: America's Forum | Israel | obama | netanyahu | clash | israel | palestinians

Pat Buchanan: Obama and Netanyahu on Way to 'Major Confrontation'

By    |   Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 10:55 AM

The already contentious relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama is heading for "a major confrontation" as a result of Netanyahu’s re-election this week, according to political pundit Pat Buchanan, who appeared Thursday on "America’s Forum."

"Bibi Netanyahu is going to defy the president of the United States," Buchanan said on the Newsmax TV program.

"He's going to a joint session of Congress and basically trashed any agreement with Iran that the president brings home, he's going to try to scuttle and sink it along with the Republicans," he said. Netanyahu "has told the world there's going to be no Palestinian state, he has said we're going to build settlements on the West Bank whether you like it or not. And that's what they're going to do.

"So you've got a collision between American policy and American president and a new Israeli prime minister who won election by rallying the right wing — the rejectionist wing, if you will, those who don't want a Palestinian state. So we've got a major confrontation coming and it's coming this month."

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The relationship between Obama and Netanyahu was already strained when the prime minister accepted an invitation by House Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress about a potential deal with Iran over its nuclear program. In a rousing speech earlier this month, Netanyahu implored the U.S. not to accept the current proposed deal, arguing that doing so would all but guarantee a nuclear Iran.

Obama derided the speech, saying Netanyahu offered nothing new in it.

On the eve of the Israeli elections this week, Netanyahu announced he would not support a Palestinian state. The White House responded by suggesting it might reverse a decades-old policy of using its veto on the U.N. Security Council to protect Israel and could instead refuse to veto resolutions related to the Palestinians or introduce a measure of its own.

While it would not be in Israel’s best interest, in the long run, to "be in a clash like this to humiliate and defeat and basically roll the president of the United States," how the rift is handled will be more telling for Obama, according to Buchanan.

"There's doubt," he said. "I mean ... he refused to call Bibi Netanyahu and congratulate him, which he should have done just out of cordiality and just out of diplomacy. He really is angry and bitter at the Israelis.

"The question is, is he tough enough to stand up to Bibi Netanyahu when Bibi Netanyahu has in Congress probably more support than the president has in the Middle East, more support on the Iran agreement than the president has.

"This is a contest for American public opinion between the president of the United States and Bibi Netanyahu."

Buchanan advised the president to proceed with the deal with Iran if he believes it's in "Americans' vital national interest."

"He should not act out of petulance or anything like that," he said. "He should look at our cold national interest, and follow it."

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The already contentious relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama is heading for "a major confrontation" as a result of Netanyahu's re-election this week, political pundit Pat Buchanan says on Newsmax TV.
obama, netanyahu, clash, israel, palestinians, settlements
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2015-55-19
Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 10:55 AM
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