Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to ease reports of rifts between the U.S. and Israel, saying he found President Barack Obama to be "understanding" of the Jewish state's security concerns while meeting in Washington last week.
Netanyahu, in an interview aired on "Fox News Sunday," was asked to compare Obama to other American presidents Netanyahu had worked with in some form or another over the past three decades.
"I don't compare people," Netanyahu said. "This is something you leave for biographies. But I can tell you there is a consistent line. And all U.S. presidents, from everyone that I met including President Obama, share what the president called the basic bedrock of this unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States."
The prime minister was asked whether Obama supports Israel in the same way as presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush did.
"I can tell you that we had a conversation in this meeting in
Washington the other day, and a good chunk of it -- I'd say about half
of it -- was devoted to a detailed discussion of Israel's security
problems, the problem that when we vacate territory, Iran and its proxy
terrorists walk in with rockets," Netanyahu said.
"And I explained it in great detail, and I found the president was understanding. I found him -- he considered this problem. He understands that we need to have a solution for it. And I intend to work with him and, I hope, with President Abbas to find a solution so that we can couple security with peace, because that's the only peace that will endure, a peace based on security."
Netanyahu added that Obama "did a lot to lay to rest" perceptions that there was "daylight" between the U.S. and Israel on questions of security concerns.