Instead of congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his reelection during a phone call Thursday, President Obama belittled Netanyahu's electoral accomplishments and lectured him on Iran, Palestine, and Arab Israelis.
Obama had been supporting Netanyahu's opponent, Isaac Herzog, throughout Israel's latest election and White House officials closely followed results Tuesday in hopes that the leftist party would prevail.
When Netanyahu did win, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest criticized Netanyahu's campaign and said the Obama administration must "re-evaluate" their relationship with Israel.
Obama shared these concerns with Netanyahu personally when the two finally connected by phone late Thursday. According to The Jerusalem Post, Obama told Netanyahu the US "will need to reassess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution" and also "discussed" Netanyahu's "comments about Israeli Arabs."
Netanyahu assured Obama that he is, and always has been committed to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, but Obama reportedly told Netanyahu he did not believe him.
Netanyahu has been a vocal critic of Obama's efforts to broker a deal with Iran that will, in Obama's words, make the state sponsor of terrorism a "successful regional power."
Obama also reportedly pointedly limited his praise of Netanyahu's electoral win by noting that Netanyahu only won a "plurality" of Knesset seats.