June 4th, 2009
03:31 PM ET
5 years ago

Boehner slams Obama comments on Israel-Palestine, Iran

Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to 'place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians.'
Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to 'place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians.'

(CNN)–House Republican leader John Boehner on Thursday praised the tone of President Obama's address in Cairo but slammed the president's remarks on Israel and Palestine, and on engagement with Iran.

"I think the president delivered a thoughtful and optimistic speech, but I do have some concerns about some things that were mentioned in the speech," he said.

Boehner said he was concerned the president seemed to "place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians."

"The Israelis have the right to defend themselves," he said "....Because Hamas is a terrorist organization, they have been funded by the Syrians and the Iranians, and I just don't think the Israelis deserve to be put into the same playpen with terrorists."

Obama's comments about Iran were a mistake, Boehner said.

"His point about Iran, where he continues to say that he will sit down with the Iranians without any preconditions - I just think that puts us in a position where America looks weak in the eyes of their rulers," Boehner said. "And given the outrageous statements that their leaders have made, I don't know how we can continue to say that we'll sit down and talk to them without some, without conditions. I think it makes America look weak."

Boehner also criticized the president for saying he wanted to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility "without having a plan in place for what to do with those detainees that are there."

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report


Filed under: John Boehner • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    What else would the man with a tan say?

    June 4, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Jealous republicans face it our president is brilliant. He said it all. Go bury your heads in the sand republicans

    June 4, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Ren from Baltimore

    Rep Boehner-are you still in DC? What on earth are you doing bothering the populace again? Go back in your holy hole of holes. Now. Please. And I mean that with all due tonal implications.

    If anything at all can make this country look weak, it is the incessant shooting from the hip that you, Rush, Newt and other holier-than-thous insist on. That is not helpful. Thoughtful criticism would be so much more appreciated than your hair-trigger responses.

    June 4, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. JonDie

    "The Israelis have the right to defend themselves," he said "….Because Hamas is a terrorist organization, they have been funded by the Syrians and the Iranians, and I just don't think the Israelis deserve to be put into the same playpen with terrorists."

    Israelis are EQUALLY responsible. Israelis took and continue to take Palestinian land. And Israelis have routinedly combined war crimes against the Palestinians with OUR support and approval, that make the US government just as "terrorist" as Hamas. In a word, there is NO difference between the US, Israel or Hamas...except we Americans are always right in our own eyes, even though it usually means we have to contradicts our supposed highest ideals as a nation.

    June 4, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. phoenix86

    Obama continues to amaze me at his total lack of knowledge about the Middle East. I feel that Israel is now truely on her own, as the POTUS hasn't a clue about anything other than pandering to Islamic radicals and theological dictatorships.

    Stay safe Israel, the Obama nightmare should be over in just under 4 years.

    June 4, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Sean

    I think Boehner makes America look weak....and stupid. Republicans are very good at that, re: 2000-2006.

    June 4, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. JP

    Isreal's notion of defending itself is to keep stealing more land to build more settlements.

    June 4, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Matt

    ....unless they ACT like terrorists. There are American terrorists too. Remember, this is GLOBAL War on Terror that you started.

    June 4, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Jason, Los Angeles

    Blah blah blah I'm obsolete blah blah blah my party is a shambles blah blah blah if Obama says it, I disagree blah blah blah.

    June 4, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. carlo

    I sincerely hope that Boehner's knowledge of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not this shallow. There have been agreements made and agreements broken by both sides. For him to state otherwise is either disingenious on his part or just an outright lie if he knows better.

    You would think someone who strives to be the color of brown sugar would have a better knowledge of the people whose skin he is copying.

    June 4, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Randi L.

    Criticizing is what Beaner does best. Next comes pandering. Then comes laying mindlessly in a tanning booth. After that, it's passing out political contributions on the House floor. Beyond that Beaner has no skills.

    June 4, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Bart

    Boner is an idiot. The President did not dispute the right of the Israelis to defend themselves. He stated that they should meet half way regarding the two state solution, which is the only option. Israel is so terrified of having another Muslim nation on its border to defend against, they are doing everything in their power to maintain the status quo. They are afraid that Hamas will become the ruling authority of any Palestinian Country formed there. If they were to make an attempt to come to the table in good faith, maybe they can come to an agreement. But they won't, that is the blame the President place on the Israelis.

    June 4, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Aaron G.

    That wouldn't be "slamming"—more like "constructive criticism." Don't sensationalize the news any more, CNN, report it.

    June 4, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. GOP says If your a muslim your a terrorist. The End!

    Um, we gave Iranians weapons in the 1980's, so does that make us a terrorist organization?

    Also, we have used that whole not sitting down without conditions tactic for eight years, how'd that work out for us? Oh, Iran still went ahead and started building a nuclear facility? I guess that tactic worked very well then.

    It's also worked well with Cuba and North Korea.

    Yup, I'll take advice from Republicans when I start taking hunting lessons from Dick Cheney!

    June 4, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Melissa

    Just more Republican whining.

    June 4, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Adam

    I really don't see how sitting down with the Iranians (who just might elect a true reformer next week) would make America look weak.

    Sitting down and offering concessions are two different things; sounds to me like Obama's following Teddy Roosevelt's advice to speak softly and carry a big stick.

    Meeting with hostile leaders just shows we're not afraid of them - or of confronting them face-to-face.

    And for any minor pride we feel we lose by talking to them, we get back huge returns: simply electing a more conciliatory president like Obama has warmed regular Iranians to the United States, making the election of the reformist candidate over America-basher Ahmadinejad even possible.

    June 4, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Minnesotan

    GIve it a rest, Boner! (misspelled intentionally) The problem IS equal blame on parts of both the Israelis and the Palestinians. I don't know why, but America continues to suck up to Israel. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have misbehaved and both share the blame. My suggestion would be to cut off ALL monies going to either of 'em.

    June 4, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. David

    OMG, does this dude ever have anything positive to say. I mean I dont think there has been a decision the President has made that this man has not come out and try to score politic points to show that he can be the opposition to the President. If it is not exactly the way John Boehner wants, he complains to no end. I am so sick of him and many other Repubs who constantly complain about EVERYTHING. Some constructive criticism is fine and some debate is fine. But these guys are just over the top with it.

    June 4, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    And the sophomoric comments comparing his last name to an aroused state are incoming....

    June 4, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Billy

    So Obama's speech mentioned peace 29 times and the Republicans immediate mention war. So sad.

    June 4, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. d

    What happend to not tearing down your president while he is on foreigh soil?

    June 4, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  22. history repeats

    the republican stance is that of a 4th grader! worrying about "looking weak" is very pathetic. what ever happened to confidence? people who are strong DO NOT CARE if they "look weak"!!! diplomacy is handled without preconditions. sit down and hear what the other side has to say. and as far as israel i believe the american people only hear one side of this story and create their impressions on that. how evil the palestinians are. do a little research! understand that these are human beings we are talking about. very poor human beings. some might make the wrong decisions some might not. UNDERSTANDING goes a long way. we are not in danger of being conquered by an military we are in danger of being conquered economically, but you idiots only see the 4th grade perspective. the cowboys and indians nonsense. geopolitics is much more complicated than that!!!!!!

    June 4, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Rush is the Defacto Leader of the Whig, er Republican party

    Not a "slam". Why is CNN trying to foment controversy where none exists?

    June 4, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Ken

    The reality for Israel, and I mean this without judgement, because I've never had to endure what they have... is that they are fighting terror with terror. From their use of WP in the recent skirmishes with Palestine to their fairly regular destruction of personal cars (they sometimes run over all the cars on a street with tanks, using the argument that the cars *could* be used for terror purposes). Though they may feel that the actions are justified in the name of security, there is no denying that their anti-terror actions impose an uneven burden on non-combatant Palestinian civilians. The argument goes back and forth, with pro-Israel politicians saying that it is Hamas that necessitates the actions... but ultimately, aren't we all responsible for our own actions?

    June 4, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Sharon Kitchen

    mr. boehner........................could you wait just one second......................................................I know the Obama is not back yet...........................and we have not heard the total way he has been recieved in all the different countries yet......................................................................woudn't you like the whole picture,not just a corner.........before you jump up and start swinging?

    Shouldn't you get all the facts and all the speeches and then have your field day?

    Just a thought.

    but you know best right?

    did you get elected pres?

    no.

    June 4, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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