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Published: Sun, September 25, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Obama tells Netanyahu of U.S. concern on settlements


"It greatly enhances Israel's security", the Israeli PM said. Israel works closely too with the U.S. in developing cyberwarfare, such as the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran's civilian nuclear programme. "One thing that I would say about Prime Minister Netanyahu is that he is always very candid with us". If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. Obama meant to use their meeting as an opportunity to push Netanyahu on peace with the Palestinians. The greatest opportunity is to advance a durable peace. He said the USA agreed to the extended military aid plan because "we want to make sure Israel has the full capability it needs in order to keep the Israeli people safe".

Obama said the USA link with Israel is "based on common values, family ties and a recognition that the Jewish state is one of our most important allies".

"Our alliance has grown decade after decade, through successive presidents, bipartisan Congresses and with the overwhelming support of the American people", he said. It's an unbreakable bond based on common values, buttressed by common interest, and bound by a shared destiny.

In the past, the relationship between Netanyahu and the president has been rocky, reaching a low point during the negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal. I believe Obama to have been an excellent president for the American people, but the simple truth is that he has failed Israelis and Palestinians miserably.

Obama replied that he plans to visit Israel when he leaves office "because it's a lovely country".

Netanyahu, on the other hand, has staked his entire career on settlement and was once secretly recorded telling a group of constituents: "I know what America is". Netanyahu even complemented Obama's golf game and invited him to play golf at a course near his house. Much of the criticism came from either Ehud Barak, a former Prime Minister from the center-left Labor party interested in making a comeback, or Moshe Ya'alon, the former chief of staff who would love to replace Netanyahu as prime minister.

Mr Netanyahu's ardent opposition to Mr Obama's nuclear deal with Iran - perhaps the biggest irritant in the relationship - did not arise during the meeting, said the officials. He also raised US concerns about Israeli settlements, a sore spot between the two leaders.

Whatever happened behind the scenes, it was clear both sides were eager to put on a show of getting along really well in the wake of signing a record military aid deal last week, in which the USA will be giving Israel $38 billion in arms over the next decade. The memo of understanding, he said, is indicative of that.

"It allows the Iraelis to have some kind of certainty in a moment when there's enormous uncertainty in the region", the president said. "It's a very hard and risky time in the Middle East", Obama said.

This will give us an opportunity to talk about the challenges that arise out of situations like Syria.

The attacks included one on Monday in which a Palestinian stabbed two Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem's Old City, leaving one in serious condition and another moderately wounded. The contradictions between America's balanced rhetoric and chronically pro-Israeli actions mean that Israel can do virtually anything it wishes on the ground in Palestine, and the whole world can go to hell if it does not like it, because the United States keeps rewarding Israel in every area of statehood. Clearly there is great danger of not just terrorism but also clerics, of violence.

In 2011, Obama explicitly stated that peace would require Israel to withdraw to its pre-1967 borders; the speech in which he said this coincided with George Mitchell's resignation as special envoy. "Our hope is that we can continue to be an effective partner with Israel in finding a path to peace". "What can a president in his final months actually do?"

The Israeli Prime Minister told his cabinet earlier this week that all soldiers should be ordered to be on "heightened alert" in preparation for upcoming Jewish holidays. "These are challenging times".

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