Payback Time: Obama Puts Netanyahu In His Place During Tough Phone Call

In a tense phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama delivered the message that he is going forward with trying to negotiate a deal with Iran on their nuclear program, reassessing U.S. options, and reaffirmed his support for the two-state solution. In other words, it’s payback time.

Here is how the White House described the Obama/Netanyahu phone call:

President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate the Prime Minister on his party’s success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats. The President emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence, and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries. The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine. On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

Barak Ravid of Haaretz tweeted:

President Obama’s comments about reassessing options match the language used by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. During his daily briefing with reporters, Earnest said, “I’m not suggesting that any policy decisions have been made at this point. I don’t want to leave you with that impression. In fact, what I have tried to say is that it, understandably, has prompted us to reevaluate the strategy that we will put in place to make those decisions. And that will be something that we will do moving forward….Well, again, decisions that — steps that the United States has taken at the United Nations have been predicated on this idea that the two-state solution is the best outcome. Now our ally in these talks has said that they are no longer committed to that solution. That means that we need to reevaluate our position in this matter, and that is what we will do moving forward.”

Netanyahu needs U.S. support and aid. It is no wonder that he backtracked so quickly on his opposition to the two-state solution. Netanyahu may talk a tough game, but he needs the support of the United States. Obama put the fear of God into conservative hero Netanyahu by suggesting that his behavior during his reelection campaign might have been the final straw.

It is clear that President Obama hasn’t forgotten the slap in the face that was Netanyahu’s address to Congress. The president made it clear to Netanyahu that his stunt with his Republican buddies isn’t going to stop a possible agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

Obama hasn’t forgotten what Netanyahu has done, and the payback might make the Israeli Prime Minister wish that he had never messed with the President Of The United States.

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