Menu JTA Search

Emanuel blasts Netanyahu for ‘betraying’ Obama

President Barack Obama, right, making a point to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office on May 18, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, right, making a point to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office on May 18, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rahm Emanuel said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu betrayed the Obama administration by announcing a new settlement expansion and the cutoff of tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority.

Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s chief of staff in his first term, delivered the assessment over the weekend at the Saban Forum, an off-the-record Washington event.

Emanuel’s comments were made public by another participant, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during an open forum and were confirmed by other participants.

According to an account by New Yorker journalist David Remnick, Emanuel had said that Netanyahu had "repeatedly betrayed" Obama, and that the latest Israeli moves — apparent retaliations for the successful Palestinian bid to achieve non-observer state status last week at the United Nations — were especially galling given U.S. support for Israel during its recent mini-war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

NEXT STORY