Strong criticism is being aimed at President Barack Obama for pulling Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power from the address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, allegedly for a video conference with President Obama.
To pull senior representatives from the UNGA chamber during the speech of another country’s leader normally indicates great hostility between the two countries. (Across the decades, various Arab countries used to walk out before any Israeli representative rose to speak).
Although Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power were both in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meetings, they were notably absent for the entirety of the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech (Jordan Schachtel, ‘Obama pulled John Kerry and Samantha Power from Netanyahu UN speech,’ Breitbart, October 1, 2015).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is appalling and unprecedented for an American president to pull senior United States representatives from the UN General Assembly hall ahead of the leader of any American ally’s address to the United Nations.
“President Obama cannot possibly have been unaware of the signal this sends to friend and foe alike regarding the US/Israeli relationship which, despite publicized disagreements, he has professed to value and uphold.
“The question must be asked — why would President Obama to do this?
“The answer appears to be that President Obama is telling Iran, Arab nations, and the rest of the world that he means to maintain a frosty and fraught relationship with Israel, despite talk of moving forward with cooperative efforts with Israel to combat the many manifest and emergent dangers in the Middle East — many of them stimulated by the terrible and utterly defective nuclear deal with Iran upon which he insisted.
“Already in 2013, when President Obama deviated from his earlier insistence on Tehran ceasing uranium enrichment in favor of negotiating a deal permitting continued enrichment, the CIA and NSA drastically curtailed its cooperation with Israel aimed at disrupting the Iranian nuclear project.
“President Obama has indicated that he wants it understood that Israel remains isolated from its main ally on this issue. He seems to be signaling Tehran — ‘You have nothing to to fear from joint U.S./Israeli efforts. I am putting more daylight between Washington and Jerusalem. The United States will give Israel arms, but it will not stop you building up your terror proxies against her.'”