This morning on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blasted the president’s priorities when it comes to U.S.-Israeli relations.
McCain said that Israel had a “free and fair” democratic election, is “the only nation in the region that will have such a thing,” and that if President Obama doesn’t like the results, he needs to “get over it.”
“Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President,” McCain said. “It’s time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region which is threatening the very fabric of the region. The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during a reelection campaign.”
The relationship between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been called into question in recent weeks. Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress was criticized by the president, and critics of the administration’s nuclear negotiation with Iran say that the deal could leave Israel unprotected from nuclear threats by the Iranian regime.
After his reelection, Netanyahu retweeted messages of congratulations from world leaders:
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) March 18, 2015
The United States was represented on Netanyahu’s timeline by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
The Obama administration wasn’t quick to congratulate Netanyahu.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Obama said that during a phone call to congratulate Netanyahu two days after his reelection, he said he doubted Netanyahu’s sincerity in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” said Obama.
According to Reuters, Netanyahu said prior to his reelection that there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state under the current circumstances.
This morning on Meet the Press, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said that Netanyahu’s remarks about Palestinian statehood were being mischaracterized.
“He didn’t say what the president and others seem to suggest that he’s saying,” Dermer said. “And he was very clear about it in his interview with Andrea Mitchell. He didn’t change his position. He didn’t run around giving interviews saying he’s now against the Palestinian state.”
“Israel is in favor of a Palestinian state that would end the conflict with Israel,” Dermer added. “We’re not in favor of a Palestinian state that will continue to wage war against Israel.”