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January 7, 2016 12:56 pm

Indyk on PBS Documentary: By 2013, Obama Had Already Written Off Netanyahu

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Former Mideast envoy Martin Indyk. Photo: Wikipedia.

Former Mideast envoy Martin Indyk. Photo: Wikipedia.

Following a tense political year in 2012 between Israel and the United States, when it appeared as though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have been supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney against Barack Obama in that year’s elections, Obama had essentially “written off Netanyahu,” claimed diplomat and US negotiator Martin Indyk.

Obama’s disregard for Netanyahu came after what journalist Jeffrey Goldberg said was the height of Israeli power on the issue of Iran and the US; throughout 2012 it appeared as though the Israelis were on the verge of striking Iran and potentially drawing the US into another regional military conflict.

But after Obama’s second victory, by 2013 and 2014, “In that period, the air went out of the balloon. … I think that the president has essentially written off Netanyahu,” Indyk said.

But Obama’s new secretary of state, John Kerry, decided to make restarting peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel one of his first major focuses, and Indyk would go on to become Kerry’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace, that lasted nine months from 2103 to 2014.

Indyk’s comments were part of a PBS documentary highlighting the apparent feud between Obama and Netanyahu that precipitated over deep disagreements on Mideast policy, the peace process and the Iran nuclear deal. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday accused Indyk of fabricating a conversation with Netanyahu, in which he said Rabin would have gone on to become a political failure had he not been assassinated.

Relations between Obama and Netanyahu had already soured by 2013. Obama’s skipping Israel in his first Mideast trip, stating that the ’67 lines and land swaps as the basis for peace talks with the Palestinians, appearing to abandon Hosni Mubarak, a longtime US ally in Cairo, and then Netanyahu’s apparent lecturing of the president in the White House, meddling in internal US politics in an election season, and further enmeshing himself in a seeming attempt to scuttle Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, are seen in the documentary as the significant catalysts of the demise of their interpersonal relations.

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  • Robert Weintraub

    So What?

  • Jonah

    The root of the problem with the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu goes back to Issac and Ishmael. This is a feud a blood feud. Obamas bloodline dictates the absolute need for the demise of Israel and the religious Jews. Netanyahu will always be on the losing end of any negotiations with Obama. Anytime Israel exherts it’s right to attempt actions of any sort to preserve its existence they will find themselves on the wrong side of Obama, the liberal press and the intellectuals of the world who are attempting to sidestep the blood feud between Islam and the Jews. This intellectual skirting of religious roots for this conflict leads to an inevitable conundrum of secular confusion. Let’s be clear about this Islam, the caliphate, and it’s bloodline demands that Israel be wiped off the face of the earth and erased from the maps. Obama represents Islam so the only vision Netanyahu will get from Obama is the bottom of his shoe. If Netanyahu attempts to defend or preserve Israel he will offend Obama….Israel is suppose to fall on a sword so Obama can complete his legacy. This is a war between God and those forces that have lined up against the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. That’s a fact…God wins, they lose. God is repossessing this earth from that individual that stole it from Adam and Eve by deception. God is going to set the record straight and if that means killing radical Islam and all the liberals and misguided conservatives…so be it..prepare to be crushed and prepare to die. The world has has had two thousand years and change enjoying the right of bump and tickle with Gods grace….that dispensation is coming to a close and it is now crunch time and those that appose God are about to be smashed like mosquitos, that includes the world leaders on the wrong side of that formula, the country’s, the nations, the people….George Soros, Obama, Gore, Kerry, America if it doesn’t get its head out of the sand, all the radical Muslims, clerics…their is going to be a bloodbath and when the smoke clears Israel will still be standing and the actions of those opposing her will have been desperate acts of futility. Now what I have told you is the Gods Truth and may he strike me dead if I am misrepresenting Him. After knowing the Truth I would hope you will take with a grain of salt Mr. Martins portrayal of his summation of the problem between Obama and Netanyahu.

  • is thIs the FORWARD?

    Who’s writing this,al Jazeera? Israel didn’t ‘potentially drag the USA into a regional conflict’ a first time, but the author phrased it like ‘ here we go again’. Furthermore, you DID see the part about Clinton overtly supporting Peres in the Israeli election, didn’t you? Bibi’s support of Romney didn’t occur in a vacuum. I think Algemeiner has Alzheimer….

  • JOhn train

    I have long been concerned about Martin Indyk’s reliability.

    My organization has been very careful to avoid the financial relationships that Indyk has with certain foreign governments.

    Martin Indyk claims Netanyahu criticized Yitzhak Rabin at the slain prime minister’s funeral in 1995.The PM’s office claims Indyk made up story of conversation with Netanyahu at Rabin funeral

    The Prime Minister’s Office accused former US Mideast envoy Martin Indyk of fabricating a conversation he said he had with Benjamin Netanyahu at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in 1995, when Netanyahu was head of the Opposition.

    Indyk, who in various speeches and interviews over the last few months has been sharply critical of Netanyahu and his policies, said in a PBS Frontline program on Netanyahu that aired Tuesday evening that he sat next to Netanyahu at Rabin’s funeral. Indyk at the time was US ambassador to Israel.

    “I remember Netanyahu saying to me: “Look, look at this,” Indyk said. “He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician.”

    Indyk continued: “So I think even at that moment of tremendous support, a tragic moment of support for Rabin, Netanyahu was thinking, well, politically he was on the ropes before he was assassinated. He exploited that and ran against Oslo in the [1996] elections and beat [Shimon] Peres, but he only beat him by something like a half of 1 percent.”

    The Prime Minister’s Office issued a “blanket denial,” saying that what Indyk said “never happened.”

    The Likud issued a response to Indyk’s statement saying that “this is another blatant lie by Indyk, who never stops discrediting and defaming” Netanyahu.

    The Zionist Union, however, had a different take, taking Indyk’s comments at face value and saying in a statement that they show “how low” Netanyahu could go.

    Since then and to this very day, nothing has changed, the statement said, adding that “the only thing that interests Netanyahu is Netanyahu.”

    Even now, the statement read, “when he is a tired and drained citizen who is not functioning as prime minister and does not provide solutions for his citizens, he thinks only about his personal interests, and not the interests of the State of Israel.”