January 17, 2012
New York Times columnist Roger Cohen urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from attacking Iran “this spring or summer” if he cares about his “dysfunctional relationship” with US President Barack Obama.
In an article published in the American daily on Monday, Cohen said a US ambassador in Europe was recently asked by an Israeli counterpart what could be done to improve the “lousy relations” between Netanyahu and Obama. He replied: “Every once in a while, say thank you.”
According to the senior columnist, the American ambassador added, “Maybe, once in a while, ask the president if there’s anything you can do for him. And above all stay out of our election-year politics.”
Cohen said the sharp reply “reflects Obama’s fury at several things: the way Netanyahu has gone over his head to a Republican-dominated Congress where he is a darling; Netanyahu’s ingratitude for solid US support, including the veto of an anti-settlements resolution at the United Nations last year and opposition to the unilateral Palestinian pursuit of statehood; the delaying tactics of Netanyahu reflecting his conviction Obama is likely a one-term president; and Netanyahu’s refusal to pause a second time in settlement building for the sake of peace negotiations.”