A top official is publicly claiming that John Boehner misled the Israeli government into believing that President Obama had been notified and was on board with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress.
During an appearance on Tel Aviv Radio, Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said, “It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one-sided move and not a move by both sides,” but Deputy Foreign Minister also said that Netanyahu would not be canceling his speech, “What would the outcome be then? The outcome would be that we forsake an arena in which there is a going to be a very dramatic decision (on Iran).”
The official did not disagree with the interviewer when he said that Boehner had misled Netanyahu.
If Netanyahu were misled, he would have apologized to the White House for the violation of protocol. Since he has not, it is clear that the Netanyahu government is trying to do damage control by throwing John Boehner under the bus. It is clear from the facts that this was a plan that was cooked up by Speaker Boehner and the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer. The Ambassador was a Republican, before he became an Israeli citizen. The plan was to humiliate President Obama and pressure him into approving new sanctions against Iran.
The claim that Israel was misled is dubious from every angle. There is no doubt that Speaker Boehner would play fast and loose with the facts. Pressure has been growing on Boehner domestically as President Obama’s popularity has surged after the Democratic midterm election defeat. Obama has taken a series of steps that seized the agenda and momentum away from the new Republican congressional majority.
It is likely that Boehner and Netanyahu viewed a speech before Congress as both an opportunity to divide Democrats at home while helping Netanyahu secure reelection in Israel. The plan has completely backfired. Netanyahu has been heavily criticized in Israel while congressional Democrats are in complete revolt in the United States.
The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister’s comments were the first sign that the rats are fleeing the sinking ship. The finger pointing has begun.
The scheme to humiliate a sitting president has unraveled, as Obama remains stronger than ever.