Is President Obama betraying Israel?

Obama putting distance between him and Netanyahu


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We want to lay out for you, our viewers, why there's such an icy relationship between Israel and the White House at this time.  Now, ever since President Obama stepped foot in the Oval Office, he's constantly proven that he is not a friend to Israel. Now, let's go back to 2009, when President Obama, while in Cairo on his apology tour, remember, he said this.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.


HANNITY: Now, that clearly did not start his presidency off on the right foot. And unfortunately, that wasn't the only time that President Obama said that.


OBAMA: We continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.


HANNITY: Now, fast-forward a few months later, and in March of 2010, Israel announced that it was building new settlements around Jerusalem, its capital. Vice President Joe Biden happened to be in the country at the time, and the administration -- well, they were furious.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The announcement of the settlements the very day that the vice president was there was insulting.  I mean, it was just really a very unfortunate and difficult moment for everyone.


HANNITY: And from there, things got worse. Later that month, President Obama reportedly refused to be photographed with Netanyahu and walked out of a dinner that was meeting (ph) with the prime minister.  Unbelievable! And then Obama took the idiotic foreign policy stance on Israel to the next level. Watch this.


OBAMA: We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.


HANNITY: Now, the U.S. had promised Israel we would never take that position. The world was stunned, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who then met with President Obama behind closed doors for over 90 minutes.

But our commander-in-chief couldn't keep his disgust with Netanyahu a secret. He was caught on open mike speaking with then-French president Nicholas Sarkozy about Israel, and according to reports, Sarkozy is quoted as saying, I cannot bear Netanyahu. He's a liar. Obama's response, You're fed up with him, I have to deal with him even more than you.

And when tensions flared between the Palestinians and Israel last summer, well, the White House did not have Israel's back. Secretary of State John Kerry -- he was caught on an open mike before an interview on "Fox News Sunday" saying this about Israel trying to defend itself.  Remember, thousands of rockets at the time were being fired into Israel.


JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: It's a hell of a pinpoint operation.  It's a hell of a pinpoint operation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. It's escalating significantly, and it just underscores the need for a ceasefire.

Kerry: We've got to get over there.


HANNITY: All right, the administration -- they may think that way, but I went to Israel. I saw firsthand last summer the expansive tunnel network that Hamas built to try and infiltrate Israel and kill its citizens. And the rockets the Palestinians -- they were firing at Israeli citizens, including children near playgrounds.

Now, the bottom line -- this administration refuses to stand up for our strongest ally. And joining me now with reaction, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer is with us, Democratic strategist Doug Schoen.  Guys, good to see you.


HANNITY: All right, would you agree with my analysis that relations with Israel have never been worse?

SCHOEN: They have never been worse. But I would say today, the fact that the prime minister, the president and the U.N. ambassador all said they will survive this very, very sad incident is good news.

HANNITY: OK. Agreed. I thought the prime minister was being very gracious.

SCHOEN: He was.


SCHOEN: Absolutely!

HANNITY: In my opinion.

SCHOEN: Absolutely.


ARI FLEISCHER, FMR. G.W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There have been bad episodes before, but the problem here is they were with American presidents who tended to have Israel's back. In this case, you have a president who deliberately came into office saying that he wanted to put distance between himself in Israel. That way, he can negotiate peace with the Arabs and be the man in the middle.

What you have instead is a Middle East where both Arabs and Israelis really wonder about Barack Obama and the vacuums that he's created throughout the Middle East that have now been filled by the Muslim Brotherhood and by ISIS. The president's failure to act has led to a much more dangerous Middle East. That's the fear with Iran.

HANNITY: All right, let's juxtapose this history with Netanyahu and Israel and Obama and compare to his comments on Islam. Let's just compare.


OBAMA: The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam.

And I'm also proud to carry with me the good will of the American people and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country. As salaam aleikum.

Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism, it is an important part of promoting peace.

Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda's cause is not Islam. It's a gross distortion of Islam.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.


HANNITY: All right, what do you make of that? And add to this, we have Obama political operatives right now on the ground in Israel trying to defeat Netanyahu. Biden and Kerry meet with Netanyahu's opponent. And you know where John Kerry is tonight? He's in Geneva. You know who he's meeting with? The Iranian foreign minister!

SCHOEN: Let me take the first issue on squarely and centrally. There is Islamic terror. There is no reason, no way that we should ignore that, forget it or try to minimize it. And second, Sean, would you have ever thought that the prime minister of Israel would have a better relationship with the president of Egypt and the moderate Arab states than the United States of America?

HANNITY: Listen, Ari, I said this on radio today. I'll say it here.  A president I see that actively dislikes the Jewish state! In other words, he's been more anti-Israel than any president I can think of!

FLEISCHER: Yes. I think that's right because the president came in thinking if only he could make Israel act differently, we could get peace in the Middle East, instead of if we only we can make the Arabs and radicals and the Islamic terrorists act differently, we could have peace.  That's the problem. His words in and of themselves are not objectionable, it's his actions in accompaniment to those words and the distance from Israel.

But the real problem, Sean, is substance and policy. He failed to speak out and do anything when there was a chance to topple the Iranian regime in the spring of 2009, when they took to the streets by the millions. He failed to arm the Syrian moderates. He drew a red line and didn't enforce it.

The president time and time again has allowed vacuums to form. He's done too little, too late. And when it comes to Israel and Iran, too little too late can never be an option because then there will be no more Israel.

HANNITY: All right, let me...

FLEISCHER: And that's the problem. What we really need are tougher sanctions on Iran, and that's how you get an agreement.

HANNITY: You see, I agree with you, and I -- Obama took that off the table. Now we've got mullahs dedicated to annihilating Israel with...


HANNITY: ... on the back end of this deal getting, you know, the ability not only to have the centrifuges spinning, but now they're enriching uranium, and they've got the delivery system! So the very existence...

FLEISCHER: And don't forget...

HANNITY: ... of Israel is on the line here.


FLEISCHER: ... they said that they're not even cooperating with the international inspectors.


FLEISCHER: So we don't even know what they're doing. What are they hiding?

HANNITY: Good point.

SCHOEN: Sean, the Iranians are now our effective allies in Iraq fighting ISIS. We don't have a global war on Islamic terror. We need that. It's the only way to defeat ISIS and save what you and I regard as the essence of our civilization.

HANNITY: All right, let me go to John Kerry because I know he's in Geneva. I know he's with the Iranian prime minister or foreign minister.  But he's actually saying that Israel's safer now. I don't think Israel's safer with its number one enemy, sworn towards destruction, potentially getting a nuke with a very bad deal. Here's what he -- and he said to trust us. Here's what he said.


KERRY: We have a closer relationship with Israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history.

Israel is safer today because of the interim agreement that we created. Israel is safer today, and that is the standard that we will apply to any agreement going forward. It is to guarantee that we will know that Iran cannot develop a nuclear weapon under the procedure that we're putting in place.


HANNITY: All right, my question, Ari, as I kind of look this (ph) at -- after Munich, Neville Chamberlain tells everybody peace with honor, peace in our time. And Winston Churchill said, Well, you were given the choice between war and dishonor, you chose dishonor, and you will have war.

The way I look at it, we're living at a time -- and tell me if you think my analogy's a little over the top, if it's right on -- where Barack Obama's Neville Chamberlain or worse and Prime Minister Netanyahu is Winston Churchill, and that I think this will be studied for hundreds of years. This could be a catastrophic mistake!

FLEISCHER: Sean, I hope you're wrong.

HANNITY: I hope so, too.

FLEISCHER: But I fear you're right. And this is why we're at a very important moment in time. The prime minister's speech tomorrow is going to be very important for us to listen to. And the question will be, do the American people believe John Kerry that Israel is safer or Prime Minister Netanyahu when he says Israel is at risk. And I think most Americans are going to believe the prime minister.

HANNITY: All right...

FLEISCHER: And that's because of the folly of the Obama approach, and the Americans do not want to trust in Iran. And we know a nuclear agreement with Iran is only as good as their ability to honor it, and we have no faith that they're going to honor it.


FLEISCHER: They don't honor anything. They just kill our troops in Iraq.

HANNITY: Right now!

FLEISCHER: They undermine us everywhere around the Middle East and they support terrorism everywhere.

HANNITY: State sponsor.

FLEISCHER: So why are we going to trust them now?

HANNITY: All right, that's...

SCHOEN: Sean, this isn't partisanship, this is bipartisanship. This is about the fate of the free world, Israel and our democracy!

HANNITY: I agree totally. All right, guys, thank you for great analysis.

SCHOEN: Thank you.

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