The US State Department was openly and even outspokenly critical of parts of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the UN General Assembly last night. The criticism in part revives old disputes between Jerusalem and Washington and also introduces new ones. No doubt these will come up for discussion when Netanyahu meets US President Obama in the White House tomorrow.
In her press briefing US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that she has reservations about Netanyahu equating IS with Hamas by describing them as "poison branches from the same tree." She said, "Both Hamas and ISIL are designated as terrorist organizations but obviously ISIL poses a different threat to western countries and the US than Hamas, and that's just a fact."
She sarcastically dismissed Netanyahu's efforts to hitch a ride onto the global disgust with IS. She added, "I don't believe that Netanyahu or anybody else from Israel is suggesting that the US launch a military campaign against Hamas.”
Psaki was also asked if she believed that Hamas, IS, Iran, Hezbollah, and other extreme Islamic organizations were all in league to take control of the world, as Netanyahu had indicated in his speech. She said, "I don't agree with that characterization. No."
Psaki also rejected Netanyahu's harsh criticism of the UN Human Rights Council.
In his speech Netanyahu had spoken of Iran's "manipulative charm offensive" to extort concessions in talks to restrict Tehran's nuclear ambitions. "When Iran produces nuclear bombs then the charm and smiles will disappear."
Psaki insisted that any agreement that will be achieved with Iran will not be the result of a charm offensive but based on facts and details.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 30, 2014
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