U.S. President Barack Obama's failure to congratulate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory has drawn the ire of many Republicans in Congress, The Hill reports.
“He's showing more respect for Iran than he is for the prime minister of Israel, and that's a terrible precedent that he's set,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
“I have no idea why he is more willing to speak to the Iranians and show more respect for Iran than he is willing to show respect for our strong ally in Israel and Netanyahu.”
Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Netanyahu in what the State Department described as a “brief” telephone conversation, but the president had not yet called by late Thursday.
“The president, in the days ahead, in the coming days, I anticipate will also call Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same thing.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
“Shame on him for not having made that call,” said Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL.)
“What this is about is that Netanyahu has been in the president's face about this weak and dangerous Iranian deal that is going to undermine U.S. Security interests and the president wants it his way or no way. He doesn't want any dissenting opinions.”
Rubio also questioned the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu, which is at a nadir following Netanyahu’s recent speech to Congress, which wasn't coordinated with the president.
“While I have great admiration for Prime Minister Netanyahu, our commitment is to the state of Israel,” Rubio said.
“This president has threatened that through his personal animus towards the prime minister.”