The Obama administration should not be pushing its agenda on Israel while the Jewish state’s citizens are facing rocket fire from Gaza and are in the midst of a military campaign to address the threat, The Algemeiner Editor Dovid Efune said in a recent debate on i24 News at Jerusalem’s Jaffa Port.
“For the president – now – to be agitating – even if he has differences of opinion, now is not the time,” Efune said. “Israeli citizens are under fire; Israel has a right – not only a right but a moral duty to defend its own citizens. And right now the president should be supporting.”
“Historically, U.S. presidents – especially at a time of war – even Nixon, who was considered an anti-Semite, according to many historians, rose to the occasion when Israel was at war and needed [them] most,” he added.
On Israel’s relationship with its main ally, the U.S., Efune pointed out that, “There is a difference between the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Obama Administration’s relationship with Israel.”
“The U.S.-Israel relationship is stronger than ever,” he said, “the polls are among the highest that they’ve been, in the high 60s and 70s. The American people are strongly in Israel’s court, backing what it needs to do to defend itself at this point.”
The televised exchange took place just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration demanded extra oversight over arms being transferred to Israel after the IDF secured munitions behind the White House’s back.
Israel was also reported to have voiced strong objections to the U.S. insistence on involving Turkey and Qatar, key Hamas allies, in regional peace talks. A strongly contested report from Israel’s Channel 1 news also had the president demanding a unilateral cease-fire from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The rocky period that we’re going through right now has seen much worse periods,” Efune said, “and it will emerge bigger, stronger, and better, especially after President Obama leaves office in a couple of years time.”
On the sometimes combative position that Prime Minister Netanyahu has taken throughout the operation, Efune said, “It’s definitely hugely important for the prime minister of the state of Israel to assert the independence of this country and the right to act independently, in its own interests and the interests of the security of its people.”
“President Obama had been treating Israel like a vassal state, and that is wrong. It is simply wrong,” he added.
Watch the full interview on i24 News below: