Bibi Insists Focus Is Iran, Not White House

Netanyahu Denies Poking Nose in U.S. Election

getty images

By Reuters

Published September 14, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday denied accusations he was interfering in U.S. politics after coming under fire for fiercely criticising Washington’s handling of Iran.

Relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama hit a new low this week after the Israeli leader said nations that failed to set red lines for Iran did not have the “moral right” to prevent Israel from launching a military strike.

He did not mention the United States by name, but the comments were clearly aimed at Obama and his administration.

Coming less than two months before a U.S. presidential election, critics accused Netanyahu of seeking to influence the vote - a charge the Israeli prime minister rejected in interviews published in local media on Friday.

“That’s nonsense, because what’s guiding me is not the election in the United States but the centrifuges in Iran,” he told Israel’s Hayom daily newspaper.

“If the Iranians … had stopped enriching material and preparing a bomb until the U.S. election was over, I would have been able to wait,” he added.

Israel and Western powers believe Iran is developing the technology to build nuclear weapons. Tehran denies this and says its nuclear project is entirely peaceful.

Netanyahu has constantly urged the United States and Europe to apply more pressure on Tehran, believing that only the threat of credible military action will persuade Iran to back down.

However, this week’s outspoken criticism - which followed days of incessant public demands for Washington to impose red lines on Iran - provoked a sharp response in parts of the U.S. press and a rare letter of admonishment from a U.S. senator.

“It appears that you have injected politics into one of the most profound security challenges of our time, Iran’s illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons,” California Democrat Barbara Boxer said, adding that she was one of Israel’s staunchest supporters.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.