Peres backs Obama’s Syria strategy, other Israeli leaders critical

Shimon Peres. Credit: World Economic Forum.

( Israeli President Shimon Peres says he has “full faith” in President Barack Obama’s recent decision to seek Congressional approval for a strike on Syria’s chemical weapons program.

“I recommend patience. I am confident that the United States will respond appropriately to Syria,” Peres said in an hour-long interview on Israeli Army Radio.  

“Weighing how to proceed is not the same as stuttering,” Peres added.

Peres’s comments come amid criticism of Obama’s cautious approach from some other Israeli leaders. Some in Israel see Obama’s strategy as a sign of waning U.S. influence in the Middle East, and a sign that Israel is increasingly left on its own to defend itself against myriad regional threats.

“In Tehran, they’re opening the champagne, and switching into a higher gear en route to nuclear weapons,” HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) Housing Minister Uri Ariel said in a Facebook post on Sunday, according to the Times of Israel.

An anonymous senior Israeli official told CNN, “The psychological barrier has been broken, these [chemical] weapons are being used on a periodic basis [by Syria]. So what does President Obama do when the information comes that the Iranians are making a breakout? This is what is on people’s minds. Next time President Obama meets Netanyahu and he says ‘I have your back,’ how can you trust what he is saying?”

Posted on September 2, 2013 .