Netanyahu Calls US Rebuke Over Jewish Settlements 'Un-American;' Praises Obama for Airstrikes Against ISIS

rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, October 1, 2014. |

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a television interview that a recent White House rebuke of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is "against American values," but he praised President Obama's decision to attack ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

"It's against the American values. And it doesn't bode well for peace," Netanyahu said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Israel maintains that east Jerusalem is part of its capital but the United States does not recognize it as part of Israel's territories.

"The idea that we'd have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it's anti-peace," Netanyahu added, explaining that Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem should be allowed to buy property wherever they want.

A Jerusalem city official approved last week construction of a new housing development in east Jerusalem, according to The Associated Press.

The Obama administration warned that the new project would affect Israel's relations with "even its closest allies" and reflect badly on its commitment to seeking peace with Palestinians. The Israeli prime minister said he was "baffled" by the criticism.

However, Netanyahu said his relationship with Obama is good.

"I don't want to say like an old married couple, but the president said that we had — he's had more meetings with me than with any other foreign leader," he said. "And I think you get to a point of mutual respect. You cut to the chase very quickly. You talk about the real things openly, as befitting real allies."

Netanyahu also praised Obama for the military fight through an international coalition against Islamic State, or ISIS.

"ISIS has got to be defeated because it's doing what all these militant Islamists are trying to do," he said. "They all want to first dominate their part of the Middle East, and then go on for their twisted idea of world domination. The difference between ISIS and Hamas and ISIS and Iran and so on is they all agree that the world should be an Islamist hill, but ... each of them wants to be the king of the hill."

ISIS, also known as ISIL, wants to form an Islamic emirate in the Levant region through "jihad." According to the CIA, it has about 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria.

ISIS, an al-Qaida offshoot, has gained control of large swathes of territories in Iraq and Syria.

In Iraq, ISIS men have killed hundreds of civilians. Numerous members of the Christian and Yazidi minorities have also been killed, and tens of thousands of them have fled their homes.

The terror group is believed to have hundreds of foreign fighters, including those from the United States and Europe.

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