President-elect Donald Trump criticized President Obama’s treatment of Israel Wednesday, urging Israel to “stay strong” until he takes office next month and accusing the president of erecting “roadblocks” to a smooth transition.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore.”
His comments were prompted by the Obama administration’s decision last week not to veto a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The move angered the Israeli government, which accused the administration of orchestrating the vote.
“The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Mr. Trump said of his pending inauguration.
Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu jumped onto Twitter to thank Mr. Trump.
“President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!” he wrote, adding images of the U.S. and Israeli flags.
Signaling that the president’s professed cooperation with the incoming administration has hit a low point, Mr. Trump said he is “doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks.”
“Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!” the president-elect said.
It was an astonishing public airing of the growing tensions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama, who has pledged to do everything possible to create a smooth and efficient transfer of power.
Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the president-elect’s tweet about the transition “speaks for itself.” But he added that Mr. Obama and his staff have been “helpful and generous” in transition.
Mr. Trump’s comments also came just hours ahead of a planned speech by Secretary of State John F. Kerry on the Obama administration’s Mideast policy, a move that a senior member of the Israeli government called “pathetic.”