(JNS.org) “Start Up Nation” author Dan Senor tweeted on Tuesday, the day of Israel’s Knesset election, that two U.S. officials in Israel admitted that President Obama’s recent statements to Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg were intended to influence the results of the election and weaken Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Just last week Goldberg reported that Obama said, “Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are,” in an apparent jab towards Netanyahu over continued Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. Later Netanyahu responded in an interview that he is “confident that President Obama understands that only a sovereign Israeli government can determine what Israel’s interests are.”
Relations between Obama and Netanyahu are known to be contentious. If what Senor claims is true, his “tweet reveals that U.S. officials understood that what President Obama was doing was issuing a not so subtly veiled threat to the Israeli people that the U.S. may be willing to really put daylight between itself and Israel unless they choose a less intractable prime minister,” wrote the New York Jewish Press.
Since then Israel’s Central Elections Commission confirmed that Netanyahu will regain his position after his Likud-Beytenu party alliance won 31 Knesset mandates Tuesday, a major drop from the 42 seats the party alliance had in the previous Knesset, followed by Yesh Atid at 19.