The Obama White House bashed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday for saying that the Obama Administration ignores American values when it criticizes Jews building in Jerusalem.
Appearing on Face the Nation on Sunday, Netanyahu correctly pointed out that preventing Jews from building in East Jerusalem so that the area would be Judenrein is against the American tradition of pluralism. He also pointed out that the apartments were legally bought by Jews, adding, “What we are being criticized for is that some Jewish residents of Jerusalem bought apartments, legally, from Arabs in a predominantly Arab neighborhood and this is seen as a terrible thing… If somewhere in America someone said Jews cannot buy apartments here, there would be an uproar. I do not accept this.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest danced around Netanyahu’s assertions, claiming that other administrations have agreed with the Obama White House’s stance. “It did seem odd for him to try to defend the actions of his government by saying our response did not reflect American values,” Earnest said. :The fact is, American policy has been clear and unchanged under several administrations, both Democrat and Republican… We oppose any unilateral actions that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem. These can only be legitimately determined through direct negotiations through the parties that this president has worked hard to try to facilitate.”
Earnest then changed the subject, claiming his administration was a solid friend of Israel: “The fact is, when it comes to American values, it’s American values that lend this country’s unwavering support to Israel. It’s American values that have led us to fight for and secure funding to strengthen Israel’s security in tangible ways… It’s American values that have led us to fund and build an Iron Dome system that protected the lives of countless innocent Israeli citizens.”
Of course, Earnest failed to mention what American values have driven the Obama Administration to criticize both Israel and Hamas during the Gaza war and say they both needed to restore calm; tolerate leaks of Israel’s deals with neighbors to use their airspace in a prospective attack on Iran, thus scuttling those plans; ignoring the growing Iranian nuclear threat; or most outrageously, having its State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, actually say, “[T]here is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The American stance is clear in that it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, but there is no need for the Palestinians to recognize it as such in a final agreement.”