Saturday, March 24th | 8 Nisan 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

February 26, 2015 3:36 pm

Donald Rumsfeld Blasts ‘Stunning’ White House Rhetoric on Netanyahu Speech

avatar by Boaz Bismuth /

Email a copy of "Donald Rumsfeld Blasts ‘Stunning’ White House Rhetoric on Netanyahu Speech" to a friend

Former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he finds it "stunning" to see the White House's comments on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress. Photo: Chad J. McNeeley/Department of Defense. – Ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much-debated March 3 address to a joint session of Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, former U.S. secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld said that the focus on protocol and the speech’s venue, rather than on the content of Netanyahu’s message, “plays into the hands” of the US-Israel relationship’s opponents.

“I find it stunning to see the comments out of the White House on this issue,” Rumsfeld said in an interview with Israel Hayom, whose English-language content is distributed exclusively in the US by “It is more than a distraction, it is unfortunate. It plays into the hands of those people who are not in favor of the relationship [between Israel and the US], who are not in favor of Israel, or who are in favor of Iran, and the idea that people are saying what they are saying I find most unfortunate.”

The White House has opposed Netanyahu’s speech on the grounds that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) did not consult President Barack Obama in advance of his invitation of the prime minister. On Tuesday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Netanyahu’s acceptance of Boehner’s invitation “injected a degree of partisanship” that is “destructive to the fabric of the relationship” between the US and Israel.

Rumsfeld told Israel Hayom that “the entire discussion on [Netanyahu’s] visit, it seems to me, is a distraction from the important subject about Iran.”

“Here is a country that is supporting terrorism, has a pattern of being hostile not only toward the United States and Israel but toward many of the countries in your region,” Rumsfeld said.

“If the White House or the administration has a problem on an issue with a friend, normally they would work it out privately,” he said. “They would sit down and say, ‘Gee what about this, what about that, let’s work this out.’ In this case, it’s all public diplomacy.”

Susan Rice’s comments “reflect an imperfect understanding of our system of government and our constitution,” Rumsfeld said.

“Certainly, there’s a role for the Congress in foreign policy and national security affairs,” he said. “Iran is a critical issue and Israel is an important ally, and there is nothing inappropriate at all for the speaker to invite the prime minister or for the prime minister to come over.”

Both the White House and State Department recently confirmed that the US has been withholding information from Israel concerning the nuclear talks with Iran, while also accusing Israel of “cherry-picking” to “distort” the public’s perception of the negotiations.

“I think the [Obama] administration is making a statement that they don’t want anything to intervene in their negotiations with Iran, and they are probably understandably apprehensive that Prime Minister Netanyahu will come and talk about this subject in a way that is not consistent with what their aspirations are for a deal with Iran,” Rumsfeld said. “Therefore, they have said things that are undiplomatic and inconsistent with the relationship between our two countries and its importance… I’m really amazed at the rudeness, at the undiplomatic way this administration is handling this issue.”

Rumsfeld added, “[The Obama administration’s attitude] is unfortunate because it damages, or appears to damage, the relationship with an important ally for the United States. I think it is exactly what the Iranians are happy to hear—it has to be encouraging for them. But it is also unprofessional. I think the rest of the nations of the world look at the administration’s behavior in this matter and see the damage that has been done to one of our important relationships. It is not in any sense permanent damage because this administration is in its waning years, but I think that other countries will inevitably wonder how reliable an ally this administration is.”

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • RobiMac

    Well now, working it out depends on who’s in the white house. If it were a repugnant president then, maybe a chance but, since we have a sniveling little fit-thrower when he doesn’t get his way…..not a snowball’s chance in hell.

  • Susan Dudley

    Obama sends a clear message to the world. The USA is not a reliable ally and cannot be counted on for support.
    Also, my understanding is that the pope was invited to speak to Congress by Boehner, but the President and the entire Congress welcomed him with open arms and friendship.
    I want my Congressmen to email and let me know who among their fellow members did not attend the session to hear Netanyahu.

  • Mr Obama is a moslim on a dangerous spot

    • Henna du Plessis

      100% correct

  • Otto Waldmann

    White house, Obama, act as if Israel would be instigating the Congress AGAINST the best interests of the United States. Not only Netanyahu has explained, spelt out, every sentence he will be uttering in front of the Houses, but Israel’s national/foreign policies have never been contentious issues in their fundamentals with the White House.
    In very simple, almost infantile way, Obama wants his lime light, his star presence and respective kudos untouched, least a ….lasting peace and complete conversion of a criminal Iran wont be all due to his Nobel Prize genius. Any wonder Kerry is an Obama shoe-in, all that sophisticated charm, yet tough as nails undercurrents …

  • David Polovin

    There was a time when Egypt was in alliance with the USSR against Israel. It switched its allegiance to the US after the six-day war. Now the pendulum is swinging backwards again under Obama’s watch.
    Israel will always support its alliance with the US regardless of the incumbent president because they are natural allies as opposed to mutual opportunists. The alliance is not in issue, only the relationship between the President and the Prime Minister. The former is perceived to be placing Israel’s security at existential risk and the latter is entitled and must speak vigorously against it. Am Israel chai.

  • Comment awaits moderation.


    I’ll moderate YOU OUT OF EXISTENCE.


    Think Mossad? CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH?

    Good luck with your damned ZOO MANUALS

    I’m SURE your AWAITED MESSIAH will be VERY INTERESTED in why you removed this comment – and HOW YOU celebrate such violence against humanity by ideological indifference.


    PHILBY ? Was never a promise.

    However -what you DO NOT UNDERSTAND IS ?


  • I am QUITE CONFIDENT whatever Messiah Israel awaits

    S/He will have CONCERNS over Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

    I LIVE NEAR where what BROUGHT 160 kilos of REFINED Uranium to Israel under Nixon.


    How did this happen?

    It’s like monkeys with matches in a fireworks factory.

  • What rock did this 3rd Reich support crawl out from?

  • Horatio

    Susan Rice? She gets to have a say?

    Here’s MY say: Susan Rice has herself injected a rancid degree of malodorous partisanship that is destructive to the fabric of our government.

    Free speech … just a tad too deep for ya, Suze?

    We want and we need to hear what PM Netanyahu has to say because we surely are not hearing anything remotely sensible from ol’ Hill and that Heinz guy whose rich wife promotes Israel’s foes.

  • bissel essen

    Thank you Mr Rumsfeld. In this instance I appreciate and agree with your remarks. The Administration has made too much of Israel’s PM speaking before Congress on such a vital issue to Israel, your friend and ally. Even if its wrong, Israel is needed as a loyal ALLY. It helps the U.S. as well as receives benefits from the U.S. I doubt there is another country in the Middle East that benefits the U.S. as much as Israel does,except perhaps, countries oil interests. The U.S. is trying to win an agreement with Iran, which is silly. Ever since the overthrow of the Shah, they have bombed U.S.barraks in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia , have promoted terrorism against the Great Satan, and gotten away with it. They lie, because they feel justified in their assumption that they are the victors to be victorious over the West Their pomposity is that they have been chosen to rule the middle east and probably the whole world
    Unfortunately those in charge in Iran are deceitful, and lie to the West. We have just learned they have another nuclear facility in a secret part of Teheran. Surprise Surprise. When will the West learn?

  • As the blacks were killed once upon a time because they were blacks today in the modern world the jews are killed because they are jews.I do not understand why this american government is not understanding the railings of Ayotullahs.

  • Bullfrog Europe

    The White House’s childish response to Boehner’s invite reflects its underhand way of trying to deal with a pariah state. One that sponsors state terrorism.

    Obama & his team are not acting in the best interests of the US.


    Never thought I would agree with Donald on anything.

    Bravo Mr. Rumsfeld!!

  • steven L

    From day 1 this administration intended on upgrading Iran near-nuclear status while trying to undermine Israel. The use of the settlements was a stupid pretext
    The refusal from the Muslim world to recognize Israel triggered the settlements; another contributing factor was and still is western antisemitism (US & EU).

  • Rabbi Emily f. Korzenik

    I am grateful for Donald Rumsfeld’s comments. Hopefully Netanyahu will be able to meet the challenge he faces.

  • Rabbi Emily f. Korzenik

    Pres. Obama’s belief that the Iranian leaders are trustworthy people with whom a verifiable deal can be made is surprising. The Atomic Energy people who have been entrusted with verifying Iran’s nuclear energy compliance tell us that they have not been given the access needed for verification. The Iranian leaders are determined to be the power in the region and atomic bomb capacity is an important element in the fulfillment of their ambitions. Moreover Iran supports Assad with arms and fighters and Hizbollah and Hamas with arms. Iran’s leaders loudly express their intention to destroy Israel and kill the Jews. The arms Iran supplies to Hizbollah and Hamas are tangible manifestations of those intentions. Israelis is our closest ally in the Middleast or are they? I wonder what our president can be thinking.

  • Sofia

    This is extremely distressing to think that the White House would reject having PM Netanyhu speak to the Congress and the American People, Israel is a close ally and the concern of a nuclear Iran is a real threat to the West and Israel.
    Why would they be so reluctant and disrespectful to hear his speech, what are they afraid of?

    Iran must be delighted, we in the West must be very worried.
    I am.

  • myra vero

    it’s wonderful to hear rumsfeld

  • myra vero

    it’s wonderful to hear rams field

  • Donald Rumsfeld could not say it any better! But, the White House has repeatedly snubbed israel and prime minister BIBi! Very hurtful! President Obama is acting like a little spiteful kid! Amen!

  • Evelyn Fabrikant

    While the Obama administration complains that it is PM Netanyahu that is using his speech before Congress a ‘political’ ploy…instead it is Obama – the White House – that have ‘used’ Netanyahu’s unwelcome address on Iran’s nuclear potential and capacity as ‘political diversion’ to move the focus from the BOMB in IRAN to improper etiquette!

    Every US citizen concerned about Iran…and worried about Israel should call their Senators and Congressmen and let them know they expect them to attend Netanyahu’s speech as it is their job to listen and learn and do everything in their power to ‘protect our country.’

  • noah

    Obama Hussein bin Laden is the most pathetic, unqualified, incompetent president in US history. He accomplished the impossible, which was to surpass Jimmy Peanut Brain Carter as the worst president.
    He’s an embarrassment to both the US abd the world.
    Obama needs to be impeached and imprisoned in Gitmo !!!!

    • Henna du Plessis

      hear, hear.

    • QUATCO

      Noah, I could not have said it any better, Bravo!!!!!!!

  • Worse, Obama meets with the emir of Qatar, a country that is NOT a democracy and that has funded Hamas’ war on Israel, but refuses to meet with the head of the only Western-style democracy in the region because of a protocol issue.

  • Leo Toystory

    What kind of president favors a dangerous, despotic, genocidal, terror-supporting state like iran over Israel?
    A muslim president, that’s what type.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    Thank you Mr Rumsfeld. Mr Natanyahou should come and speak because he is very concerned about the result if the Iranians get the bomb. Actually the world should be worrying. Like I said millions of times: It might start with the Jews but it never finish only with the Jews.

  • Duncan

    This man child is by far the worst excuse for a President this nation has EVER elected. God help us for the next 2 years.

    • Henna du Plessis

      he is not a man child. he is an idiotic muslim.

  • Irving D. Cohen

    I never thought I would see the day that I agree with Mr. Rumsfeld,

    but I do agree with him today. I wish he had shown as much wisdom

    and foresight when he was in office.

  • Signe Knapp

    Rumsfeld is clearly a patriot and I applaud his effort to change a few bigoted minds. Unfortunately , there are those that blindly follow Obama ,foresaking our country, which is almost unrecognizable these days .

  • Werner Strasser

    I cannot wait to hear Mr.Netanyahu’s message and I am worn out by this administration’s pettiness, arrogance and childish behavior.

    Why is the president undermining his credibility by not only shutting out but by insulting his allies? Is it because he wants to succeed with his nihilistic “diplomacy” or cover up the endless stream of propaganda and lies? Probably both.

    Obama’s track record makes it imperative to hear from those who will be affected the most by his actions. So fare, whatever this president touched turned into a disaster. No more disasters are needed to prove him as a failure.

  • Ethan Coane

    Right! This from one of the neo-Con cabal that orchestrated W’s Iraq war? How’d that turn out for us or the Iraqi people? He has about as much credibility with me as Dick Cheney. He should just shut-up and keep spending his corporate board membership fees. If I never hear another word from any of them it’ll be too soon.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Since I am not a diplomat and dont have to use euphemisms to express myself F–K Obama and the Democratic party who toady up to his insanity.

  • “…but I think that other countries will inevitably wonder how reliable an ally this administration is.” says it all. The Obama admin is not looking at the long game.

    Rumsfeld is being precious talking about protocol in speaking to Congress. The fact is the Israelis are exchanging Dem support for the Republicans where before support for Israel was bipartisan. Netanahu may come to regret this speech. Especially as his own intelligence people seem to be sceptical about his assertions. Israel’s major ally is mired in what to do in the ME and it certainly narrows their options when a nuclear Israel pushes insults into divisions with Washington. There is no certainty that a new government in a year’s time will alter the present policy.

    What Donald Runsfeld gains by this speech is open to conjecture? Why another.


  • Historians in the future will look at Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3, 2015 as the turning point. The day the world was told that it cannot live in an illusion of peace, when apocalyptic, eschatology driven fanatics want to destroy it. The day it was told that the Jewish people will not permit that a third of its population be annihilated twice in a century.

  • Scott

    Again….another voice of reason.
    In his last years Obama will try to create as much havoc and damage to our friends as he possibly can. Why? I leave that to the readers to decide. I used to think he was just clueless and incompetent. I now fear it’s far worse than that……

    Obama’s advisors and his crew are perhaps the most naive, incompetent administration in history. Certainly in my lifetime…and I voted for Jimmy Carter (yes I regret it now!).

    Or…is it much worse than that?