Despite Netanyahu’s suspicions that Obama, in the last two months of his term, will support the Palestinians against Israeli interests, the Israeli leader denied calling the American leader an “existential” danger to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told residents of Amona, a community of several dozen families located in the Benjamin region of the southern Samarian hills, that U.S. President Barack Obama represents an “existential” threat to Jewish cities and towns in Judea and Samaria.
According to a Channel 2 report on Wednesday, the Israeli leader said he suspects that Obama could use his last two months as president, following the national election on November 8, to harm the future of these communities.
The Prime Minister’s Office, however, denied the report.
“The prime minister did not make the comments attributed to him, but noted that in the past there were presidents who, at the end of their terms, pushed initiatives that were inconsistent with Israeli interests,” the PMO statement read.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled early September that Amona – allegedly built on Palestinian land, although there are no records supporting that claim – must be demolished by the end of 2016. To that end, Netanyahu authorized the building of 100 new homes in the nearby city of Shilo as well as plans optional plans for another 200 housing units and an industrial zone.
The move to compensate the Amona families who would be forced to leave their homes – perceived by the U.S. administration as the creation of a “new settlement” and an “obstacle to peace” – added to the tension between Netanyahu and Obama. The Israeli leader met with Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this month to explain that the new housing would be built in an already-existing community situated on state-owned land.
Regardless of the accuracy of the Channel 2 report on the issue, Netanyahu is still on record as having expressed concern regarding the U.S. president’s agenda.
Last month, also on Channel 2, Netanyahu, told TV journalist Udi Segal that he hoped Obama will not help the Palestinian Authority establish a state unilaterally before the end of his term.
“Did we speak about it? The answer is no. Do I hope that he doesn’t do it? The answer is yes,” the Israeli leader said in the interview.
“The only time that President Obama utilized a veto at the United Nation’s Security Council was in 2011, following an anti-Israel decision. Therefore, I can only hope that the US follows the same policy until the end of his term,” he added.
Obama, addressing the U.N. a week earlier, demanded that Israel end the “occupation.”
Representatives of the “Headquarters for the Struggle for Amona” are determined to save their community rather than relocate to Shilo.
“If Netanyahu caves in on Amona, he will also do so on Ofra [a nearby community]” and others, they said in a statement. “ Amona is the test.”
By: World Israel News Staff