Obama Administration gets another endorsement from Ehud Barak

Israel’s Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has once again hailed the Obama administration’s commitment to Israel.

On Thursday Barak told an Israeli radio show that he was pleased with the “change of emphasis” expressed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta when he made controversial comments about Iran’s nuclear program on CBS News. (The Pentagon later said that some of Panetta’s statements were made “hypothetically“):

“The change of emphasis … is a very important development, because it makes clear a fact that was already known to us from closed-door (discussions),” Barak told Israel Radio. “It makes clear to Iran that it faces a real dilemma.”

He also repudiated an accusation by neoconservatives and hawks that Obama has been “appeasing” Iran:

“You may not like what he does (but) you discern a man who is capable and ready to undertake the fiercest of political risks to his survival, in order to make good on what he believes in,” said Barak, who met Obama in Washington last week.

“We are asked, sometimes, whether Obama is really a soft appeaser. To that, I say: ‘Go ask Osama bin Laden.'”

In November Barak rejected claims made by U.S.-based Israel advocates that the Obama administration is anti-Israel:

I am saying very clearly that this administration in regard to Israel’s security–and we are traditionally supported by each and every American president in our generation–but under this administration we went even further into a clear, deep, deep commitment to the security of Israel. And beyond.

The endorsements are meant to prop up President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.