Is the Obama Administration interfering in Israel’s upcoming elections? Recent statements and moves by America’s leaders sure would seem to suggest so.
Last week, both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry announced they would not be in attendance when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Senate dedicated to the threat of a nuclear Iran.
The White House has been furious with Netanyahu over the planned appearance, which Obama officials insist had breached protocol by being organized without their approval and involvement.
Just days after letting everyone know they wouldn’t be on hand to greet and listen to Netanyahu, both Biden and Kerry met with Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, Germany on Saturday. And this just a month before Israel’s March 17 elections.
In Herzog’s own description to Channel 10 News, the episode represents “a complete boycott [of Netanyahu]. Even if that’s not stated, that’s the story.”
In remarks to Israel Radio, Herzog downplayed the encounters with Biden and Kerry, insisting that neither American official had tried to schedule a meeting with him, but rather engaged him at more public gatherings.
To be fair, Netanyahu was likewise accused of interfering in America’s last elections, in which support of Israel played a major role, by publicly embracing the candidacy of Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
PHOTO: Kerry at Herzog’s office in Jerusalem last January (Flash90)