Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that he is “shocked” at the way the White House has been treating Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“These statements not only deflect the conversation from the important issues to the peripheral ones, they also strengthen the states who oppose Israel, and aid those who support Iran,” Rumsfeld said.
In an interview with Yisrael Hayom, which will appear in the newspaper's Friday edition, Rumsfeld recounted the “shabby treatment” he argues Netanyahu has been experiencing at the hands of President Barack Obama, who has made it clear that the Israeli Prime Minister will be an unwanted guest in Washington when he speaks to Congress about Iran's nuclear program next week.
The “noise” surrounding Netanyahu's visit and Obama's opposition to it is diverting attention away from the main issue – namely, Iran, said Rumsfeld.
“The main issue must be a discussion about Iran,” Rumsfeld stressed. “This is a state that supports terror, is rabidly opposed not only to Israel and the United States, as well as others. Usually, when there is a difference of opinion with friendly states, you resolve them behind the scenes, instead of openly insult them.”
In an interview earlier this week with the Newsmax website, Rumsfeld said that the administration was making a “big mistake” in treating Netanyahu so shabbily. “It is not in our interest and it's not in Israel's interest and I would add it's not in the region's interest."
“The relationship between the United States and Israel today is probably as bad as ever in my adult lifetime,” Rumsfeld added. “It is a shame because it is a country that is small, it's embattled, it's got neighbors that wish it weren't there and it faces a growing threat from Iran, a nuclear Iran."