Many were outraged at President Obama’s decision not to veto a controversial United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity. President-elect Donald Trump, for example, vented his outrage on social media.
The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace.Too bad, but we will get it done anyway!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2016
It’s no secret that President Obama does not have a great working relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision to abstain from voting on the anti-Israel resolution was not the first time Obama has snubbed our strongest ally in the Middle East. Here is a list of other noteworthy snubs.
1. Ditching Netanyahu mid-meeting to have dinner (2010)
The Israeli prime minister was reportedly “humiliated” after Obama walked out of a meeting to go have dinner at the White House, leaving Netanyahu alone with his aides. Israeli newspapers described the embarrassing episode as a “hazing,” and suggesting Netanyahu had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea.”
2. Refusing to meet with Netanyahu (2012)
In an unusual move that loudly criticized by pro-Israel lawmakers, Obama declined to meet with Netanyahu at the United Nations during the Israeli prime minister’s visit to New York in September 2012. At the time, Netanyahu had been urging the United States to impose stricter sanctions against Iran, and warning of the dangers of not taking a hard line in negotiations over the regime’s nuclear program.
3. Funding efforts to unseat Netanyahu in Israel (2014)
Earlier this year, Republican lawmakers launched a wide-ranging investigation into the Obama administration’s alleged efforts to influence the Israeli election in 2015. The investigation was announced after internal government reports indicated the State Department had provided hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer dollars to a political organization in Israel actively working to unseat Netanyahu as prime minister.
4. Pouting after Netanyahu won reelection (2015)
Obama waited several days before calling Netanyahu to congratulate him on winning reelection in March 2015. Instead, White House press secretary Josh Earnest announced that the administration remained “deeply concerned about the rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab Israeli citizens,” and implied that Netanyahu’s reelection “undermines the values and democratic ideals that have been important to our democracy and an important part of what binds the United States and Israel together.”
5. Refusing to recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel (2016)
In what was either a blatant diss or a ham-fisted gaffe, the White House apparently refused to acknowledge that Jerusalem, sight of former Israeli President Shimon Peres’s funeral, was a part of Israel. After initially sending a press release with a transcript of Obama’s remarks at the memorial service in “Jerusalem, Israel,” the White House press office quickly issued a “corrected” version of the release, in which the word Israel was crossed out.
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