Dems Tell Obama to Back Off Israel Criticism

Congressmen Say Obama Should Stop Pressing Israel, Spend More Time Pressuring Iran

by Jason Ditz, June 02, 2009

Congressional Democrats are reportedly irked by the Obama Administration’s persistent criticism of Israel‘s settlement growth. The Congressmen said it was inappropriate to pressure an ally about “domestic policies” and that instead the administration should spend more time “pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran.”

President Obama has called on the Israeli government to stop expanding its settlements in the West Bank, which the Israelis have refused to do. Though it has served as one of the few occasions when a US president has publicly criticized the Israeli government, officials have made it clear that continued Israeli defiance would have no negative consequences.

Obama has said that the US will continue to be “honest” about its position on the settlements, and he met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak today to reiterate his opposition to the continued construction, even in the case of “natural growth.”

The Israeli government has repeatedly reiterated its rejection of the president’s demands, and says they had “understandings” with the Bush Administration on the continued growth. They lashed out at President Obama for being “unfair” in his dealings with them.

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