U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., mocked the Obama administration’s criticism of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, telling President Barack Obama: "Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President."
Speaking in a CNN interview, McCain said Netanyahu was elected fairly and the U.S. should respect the choice of the Israeli people. "Look, there was a free and fair democratic election, the only nation in the region that will have such a thing. ... Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President."
Obama had criticized Netanyahu’s rhetoric before the election when the latter voiced his opposition to a Palestinian state. Less than two days later, Netanyahu flipped his stance over the statehood issue.
"We continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic," Obama told the Huffington Post on Friday.
Obama’s administration had also indicated that the U.S.-Israel relationship may not be the same in future. "Based on those comments, the U.S. will evaluate our position going forward," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
One of those changes could reportedly include the U.S. accepting a proposed U.N. resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood, which would be a major blow to the legitimacy of Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank. McCain said the Obama administration should not be considering the proposal.
"Of course he shouldn't be considering it. And, second of all, if he does that, then -- and it would be approved by the U.N., then the United States Congress would have to examine our funding for the United Nations," McCain said. "It would be a violation because of the President's anger over a statement by Bibi, by the prime minister of Israel. It would contradict American policy for the last at least 10 presidents of the United States."
McCain simply said that “politicians make statements,” when asked about Netanyahu’s pre-election statements. He also accused Obama of letting his personal feelings get in the way of policy goals. "It's time that we work together with our Israeli friends and try to stem this tide of ISIS and Iranian movement throughout the region, which is threatening the very fabric of the region."
"[Netanyahu’s] rhetoric concerning an election campaign pales in comparison to the threat, the direct threat, to the United States of America of ISIS," he told CNN.