Netanyahu’s brother-in-law calls Obama anti-Semite, tells him you will be “long forgotten in one year”

March 17, 2010

Hagai Ben-Artzi -Ynews

Hagai Ben-Artzi, the brother–in-law of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called US President Barack Obama an anti-Semite

“It’s not that Obama doesn’t like Bibi,” he said, referring to Netanyahu using his nickname. “He doesn’t like the people of Israel,” he said in an interview with Army Radio.

Ben-Artzi said that Obama’s anti-Semitism stems from years of indoctrination by controversial preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright, from whom Obama distanced himself during the election campaign.

“For 20 years Obama sat with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who is anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and anti-Jewish,” he said. “Think about it. If you had heard of someone who for 20 years sat in church and heard anti-Semitic sermons and didn’t get up to leave after two weeks, wouldn’t you think he identifies with it? As a politician running for presidency he had to hide it, but it comes out every time and I think we just have to say it plainly: There is an anti-Semitic president in America,” he said.

The situation creates a difficult situation for Israel, he added.

“When there is an anti-Semitic president in the United States, it is a test for us and we have to say: We will not concede. We are a nation dating back 4,000 years, and you in a year or two will be long forgotten. Who will remember you? But Jerusalem will dwell on forever.”

Ben-Artzi added that Netanyahu is aware of his views, but declined to say what the two discuss in private conversations, Haaretz said.

Netanyahu promptly distanced himself from Ben-Artzi’s remarks, saying he completely disagrees with his brother-in-law.

He said he has a deep appreciation for President Obama’s commitment to Israel’s security.

According to the paper, a group of far-right activists on Tuesday announced their plan to hang hundreds of posters across the country depicting Obama under the headline “agent of the PLO.” The banner is already on display in the office of National Union MK Michael Ben Ari.

Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last year stirred tension in Israel and the U.S. regarding the president’s new policy towards the Middle East, and created the impression that he was biased towards Arab countries, as he began with the Arab saying “salaam alaykum.”

Following the speech, Obama made a personal phone call to Netanyahu, guaranteeing that the U.S. would always support Israel.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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