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Ouch – Israel’s NE Consul’s choice words

August 8, 2009

Israel’s New England Consul General, Nadav Tamir, is blasting Netanyahu for needlessly harming the US-Israel relationship for narrow domestic political interests:

“Thereimages are people in the US and Israeli politics who ideologically oppose Obama, and are willing to sacrifice the special relationship between the two countries in order to advance their political agenda.”

and more ominously…

“The atmosphere of confrontation between the Israeli Government and the Obama administration puts the American-Jewish community, which is so important to us, in a difficult position,” he wrote. “Many of them are distancing themselves from the State of Israel because of this conflict.”

I’ve never met Tamir here in Boston, but these comments (excerpted from the Jerusalem Post) are pretty rough for a veteran diplomat.  That said, Netanyahu is notorious for leaking news to the Israeli press, so this might be a play to humiliate a critic of the Israeli PM.

Still, Tamir’s last point hits at an interesting truth- American Jews tend to be very supportive of Obama, so criticizing the supposed rift between the Likudniks and the Obama Administration is damaging to both sides.  I don’t think American Jews will cease supporting Israel anytime soon, but one might see an quick erosion in support for Netanyahu stateseide because of his rightwing policies on, say, the settlement issue.

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