In the midst of trying to ease tensions following one of the worst diplomatic rifts between the US and Israel in recent memory, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to distance himself from his brother-in-law Wednesday after he accused US President Barack Obama of being an anti-Semite during a radio interview.
"It's not that Obama doesn't like Bibi," Hagai Ben-Artzi said during the interview, according to Haaretz. "He doesn't like the nation of Israel."
Ben-Artzi attributed Obama's alleged anti-Semitism to his long association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose views Obama came to disavow during his presidential campaign in 2008.
"When there is an anti-Semitic president in the United States, it is a test for us and we have to say: We will not concede. We are a nation dating back 4,000 years, and you in a year or two will be long forgotten. Who will remember you? But Jerusalem will dwell on forever," Ben Artzi said.
Netanyahu was quick to condemn his brother-in-law's comments, saying, "I entirely reject the remarks of Hagai Ben Artzi."
"I have a deep appreciation for President Obama's commitment to Israel's security, which he has expressed many times," Netanyahu said, according to the Guardian.
During an interview with Fox News Wednesday Obama played down the recent rift with Israel.
"Israel's one of our closest allies, and we and the Israeli people have a special bond that's not going to go away," Obama said.
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