Sen. John McCain says he is “convinced” Obama is letting his personal problems with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu get in the way of shared policy goals.
“The President should get over it. Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President,” the Arizona Republican said Sunday in an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger on “State of the Union.”
“It’s time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region, which is threatening the very fabric of the region,” he said.
“The President has his priorities so screwed up that it’s unbelievable,” McCain said.
Obama has taken issue with Netanyahu’s comments leading up to Israel’s election that there will be no Palestinian state on his watch. The President told The Huffington Post last week that it is now “going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing that negotiations are possible.”
When asked by Borger about Obama’s consideration of signing a U.N. resolution calling for a Palestinian state, McCain said it should be completely off the table.
“Of course he shouldn’t be considering it. And, second of all, if he does that, then – and it would be approved by the U.N., then the United States Congress would have to examine our funding for the United Nations,” McCain said. “It would be a violation because of the President’s anger over a statement by Bibi, by the prime minister of Israel. It would contradict American policy for the last at least 10 presidents of the United States.”
McCain said Obama needs to move past his hurt feelings – both to work toward peace in the region and to cooperate with Israel in addressing Iran’s growing influence in the region.
“The least of your problems are what Bibi Netanyahu said in a political campaign,” McCain said. “It pales in significance to the situation which continues to erode throughout the Middle East and it puts America at risk.”
Democratic Rep. Steve Israel of New York said on policy issues, the United States and Israel is strong – so “who cares” about the “the hype and the drama of personalities.”
“What counts is, are we providing Israel with the critical security equipment technology that they need? And on that, we are,” Israel said on “State of the Union.”
What counts, and what we need to do, is get back to the fundamentals and stop with all the drama,” he said.