Netanyahu heads to New york
Barack Obama - balanced relationship?

Report: Obama sought Netanyahu's help in congress

New York Times believes balance of power between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not as one sided as believed

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to land in New York on Wednesday afternoon ahead of the major UN diplomatic battle over the Palestinian statehood bid. He will also be meeting with US President Barack Obama. Yet balance of power between the two leaders may not be as one sided as it seems.


According to a report published in the New York Times on Wednesday, Obama is dependant on Netanyahu – in order to get bills passed in his own House of Congress.


More on the PA's statehood bid 


In fact, last month when the Obama administration wanted to be certain that Congress would not block $50 million in new aid to the Palestinian Authority it turned to the man classified as "a singularly influential lobbyist": Benjamin Netanyahu.


According to the report, at the request of the American Embassy in Tel Aviv and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton, Netanyahu urged dozens of members of Congress visiting Israel last month not to object to the aid, congress and diplomatic sources claimed.


Obama and Netanyahu (Photo: GPO) 


The New York Times believes that Netanyahu’s intervention with Congress underscored "an extraordinary intersection of American diplomacy and domestic politics, the result of an ever-tightening relationship between the Israeli government and the Republican Party that now controls the House".


  • For full coverage of PA's statehood bid click here


The effect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on next year's US presidential race was made quite clear in New York on Tuesday when speaking at a New York convention, leading Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry slammed Obama's Mideast policy ahead of the Palestinian UN statehood bid calling it: "Naïve, misguided and dangerous."


"The Obama policy of moral equivalence, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and the Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a very dangerous insult. There is no middle ground between our allies and those who seek their destruction."


"Simply put, we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naive, arrogant, misguided and dangerous," Perry added.


The Texas government slammed Obama's declaration that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must be based on the 1967 borders and endorsed settlement construction. He also hinted that under his future Administration America's embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


"It was wrong for this administration to suggest the 1967 borders should be the starting point for Israel-Palestinian negotiations," Perry said. "The Obama administration put Israel in a position of weakness, taking away their flexibility to offer concessions as part of the negotiations process."


The New York Times claimed that the relationship between the Israeli government and the Republican Party has significantly complicated the administration’s diplomatic efforts to avert a confrontation at the United Nations over the Palestinian bid for full membership as a state, limiting President Obama’s ability to exert pressure on Mr. Netanyahu to make concessions that could restart negotiations with the Palestinians.


The paper then alleged that for the Republicans, the relationship with the Israeli government has created what many see as an opportunity.


"Mindful of Mr. Obama’s strained relationship with Mr. Netanyahu and emboldened by a special election victory last week in a heavily Jewish Congressional district in New York, Republicans hope the tensions between Mr. Obama and Israel – underscored by the latest developments at the United Nations – will help propel future political victories for their party," the report claimed.




פרסום ראשון: 09.21.11, 12:06
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