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Israel, Republicans clash with Obama over Iran deal

Israeli officials reject the US assumption by which a deal with Iran would draw it closer to the West and assist in resolving other Middle East conflicts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) looks at the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, as they deliver statements in Jerusalem April 1, 2015. Netanyahu said on Wednesday it was not too late for world powers still locked in nuclear negotiations with Iran to demand a "better deal". REUTERS/Debbie Hill/Pool - RTR4VQDZ

In the battle now raging between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) and the Republicans’ approach and that of US President Barack Obama and the Democrats, a moment of comic relief occurred April 5: for one instant, Netanyahu’s photo was published by the Associated Press with the notation "(R)," as if he were a Republican senator. This was a Freudian slip that was found by Israeli blogger Tal Schneider and quickly shared on Twitter, before it was swiftly corrected.

But maybe the error wasn’t so fundamental? Netanyahu is a Republican in all of his being. This fact has been instilled and percolated everywhere, even in Israel. This week a nimble Israeli Web surfer named Roy Taragan invented a brilliant new moniker for Bibi: “Republikudnik,” a hybrid that came into being by grafting the Republican Party, which now controls the US Congress, and the Israeli right-wing party, the Likud, which controls Israel. This is the equilibrium of mutual assured destruction as of now: Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry on one side, and Netanyahu and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on the other.

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