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Obama to The Atlantic: “Netanyahu’s anti-Arab remarks on Election Day has foreign-policy consequences”

The American President repeat and said that because U.S. is close to Israel, Oval Office had to speak up about Israeli PM’s Election Day comments lest it lose credibility.


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In an interview with The Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg U.S. President Barack Obama said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s anti-Arab remarks on Election Day has “foreign-policy consequences.”

“When something like that happens, that has foreign policy consequences, and precisely because we’re so close to Israel, for us to simply stand there and say nothing would have meant that this office, the Oval Office, lost credibility when it came to speaking out on these issues, ” he said.

Obama showed concern with the way that Israel’s democratic values have been heading. In the interview, Obama emphasized that he cares so much about Israel and the Jewish people, “I feel obliged to speak honestly and truthfully about what I think will be most likely to lead to long-term security, and will best position us to continue to combat anti-Semitism, and I make no apologies for that precisely because I am secure and confident about how deeply I care about Israel and the Jewish people.”

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The American president remarked that despite his criticism of Netanyahu and his government’s policies, he has constantly worked since entering the White House to ramp up military, security and intelligence aide to Israel.

Obama said he needs to be able to tell Israel he doesn’t agree with a particular policy like the settlements, checkpoints and the Jewish nationality law. He said this is “entirely consistent with being supportive of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.”

“Now”, He added, “for someone in Israel, including the prime minister, to disagree with those policy positions—that’s OK too. And we can have a debate, and we can have an argument. But you can’t equate people of good will who are concerned about those issues with somebody who is hostile towards Israel.”

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