President Obama has often declared his support for Israel and his dedication to the security of America’s biggest ally in the volatile Middle East. In fact, during his first trip to the Jewish state as president, Obama told the Israeli people: “The United States is proud to stand with you as your strongest ally and your greatest friend.”
So one might assume that a president who has frequently made it known that he stands solidly with Israel would also congratulate the man who just won a decisive victory in Israeli national elections and is expected to continue his leadership as the nation’s next prime minister.
After all, one might reasonably ask, wouldn’t recognizing Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party for their surprisingly strong election showing be the proper, polite, professional thing to do?
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Apparently, though, the Obama White House wasn’t feeling particularly generous with their congratulatory sentiments this morning when a CNN anchor asked about Bibi Netanyahu’s clear election victory that surprised many pollsters and pundits.
As The Weekly Standard points out, White House aide David Simas — Obama’s Director of Political Strategy — appeared to purposely avoid congratulating Netanyahu. The White House aide’s reaction to the question from the CNN anchor might well be interpreted as a bold affront to the Israeli leader who won an unprecedented fourth term.
You can watch the short CNN clip by clicking on the video above.
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By the way, The Jerusalem Post reports that Secretary of State John Kerry, on a break from ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, declined to comment on the Israeli elections.
h/t: The Weekly Standard
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