Ignores Decades of Arab States & PLO Lobbying Congress
In an interview on ‘Fareed Zakaria’s GPS’ on CNN, President Barack Obama has falsely claimed that only Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has interfered in U.S. Congressional deliberations over the Iran nuclear deal and that such intervention is unprecedented. Yet, President Obama ignored and refused to state the fact that representatives of the British, French and German governments are all over Capitol Hill, meeting senators and congressmen, urging them to vote for the Iran bill. Remember, for Israel, this Iran nuclear deal represents a unique and clear existential threat, where millions of Jews in Israel could be massacred by Iranian nuclear weapons and the Jewish state destroyed, as the Iranian leadership repeatedly threaten in publications, statements, and rallies. The Europeans do not not have the same threat level at all. Israel is involved in this issue because this bill not only affects America, but more directly affects the lives of Israelis and their state.
In the interview, Zakaria raised with President Obama the issue of Prime Minister Netanyahu having “injected himself forcefully into this debate on American foreign policy.” The following exchanged ensued:
ZAKARIA: – in Washington.
ZAKARIA: Can you recall a time when a foreign head of government has done that? Is it appropriate for a foreign head of government to inject himself into an American debate?
OBAMA: You know, I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview. I don’t recall a similar example (‘CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS EXCLUSIVE: President Barack Obama on the P+5 Iran deal,’ August 9, 2015).
In recent weeks, President Obama has also falsely claimed that only Israel is opposed to the nuclear deal (when in fact many Sunni Arab states who also stand to be affected have been critical) and that Congressional opponents are driven, not by genuine concern and disagreement, but by lobbyists and money, insinuating malicious Jewish power.
According to a senior official at a Washington, D.C.-based Jewish organization who attended a meeting between President Obama and American Jewish leaders, “The President told concerned Jewish Americans that he would turn down the constant refrain of anti-Semitic insinuations from the White House. Then he went out and gave a speech [at the American University] implying that Jews are dragging American boys and girls into war.” The same report noted, “The president suggested to AIPAC that ‘if you guys would back down, I would back down from some of the things I’m doing.’ Or, as one of the participants told me Obama said, ‘If you don’t like the claims that are being made, don’t run the advertisements.’ In other words, lay off criticizing the Iran deal and I’ll lay off the Jew-baiting.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “President Obama is both wrong and hypocritical to make this charge against Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu has been consistent and detailed in his opposition to the nuclear deal, as he has every right, indeed the duty, to be so if he believes the deal poses a threat to the security of Israel and its people.
“If this is interference, why is it not also interference for European leaders to lobby Congress in support of President Obama’s policy? Has he complained of their intervention, because they are also foreign leaders? Did he complain when, last January, British Prime Minister David Cameron personally lobbied Members of Congress against imposing new sanctions on Iran? Has he complained of the fact that various Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and also the Palestinians, have for decades employed top lobby firms to advance their agenda on Capitol Hill? Never. His complaint is hypocritical and bigoted.
“For Prime Minister Netanyahu to appeal to Congress on a vital national security issue is not interference, nor is it unprecedented for an Israeli Prime Minister to do so; it is his duty.
“In 1981, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin strongly urged the Congress to vote against President Ronald Reagan’s deal to sell AWAC aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Begin did this because he thought Israeli security would be drastically affected by this deal. It is on such matters – the duty of an Israeli Prime Minister to act. President Reagan didn’t like this, but he did not stoop to making malicious and false innuendo about American Jewish disloyalty or allege improper Israeli interference, as President Obama has done.
“It is also hypocritical of the President to complain of Israeli intervention in American politics for merely advocating on an important matter of policy when President Obama and his minions blatantly interfered in Israeli internal politics by seeking to unseat Prime Minister Netanyahu in elections earlier this year.
“In that grueling election campaign, foreign government money, including indirectly from the U.S. State Department, went to Mr. Netanyahu’s opponents, while the U.S. group OneVoice and President Obama’s 2012 reelection team were assisting the V15 campaign to oust Mr. Netanyahu. This was not a matter of policy disagreement; this was disgraceful interference.
“Many are saying that there are clear, anti-Semitic undertones to President Obama’s disgusting, shameful, and bigoted words and actions. This is especially shocking, coming from a President who is exceptionally sensitive to, and has repeatedly decried, alleged American racism and American police racism against African-Americans.”