WASHINGTON – As Barack Obama prepares for his trip to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Democratic Congress members are expressing concern over the pressure exerted by the president on Israel, the Politics website reported.
According to the report, the Congress members asked Obama to moderate his pressure on the settlement freeze issue.
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“My concern is that we are applying pressure to the wrong party in this dispute,” Politico quoted Rep. Shelley Berkley as saying. “I think it would serve America’s interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements.”
Politico reported that other representatives expressed similar sentiments in respect to Obama and Israel. Rep. Anthony Weiner, for example, said he would have liked to see President Obama pay more attention in his remarks to the Palestinian pledge to fight terrorism.
“There’s a line between articulating US policy and seeming to be pressuring a democracy on what are their domestic policies, and the president is tiptoeing right up to that line," Weiner said.
Rep. Gary Ackerman reiterated the same point, saying he did not think "anybody wants to dictate to an ally what they have to do in their own national security interests."