The Times of Israel:

For the first time since he managed to restart the talks in July, [Secretary of State John] Kerry dropped his statesman-like public impartiality, and clearly spoke from the heart — and what emerged were a series of accusations that amounted to a forceful slap in the face for Netanyahu. It was a rhetorical onslaught that the prime minister cannot have expected and one he will not quickly forget.

Kerry seemed to place the blame for the failure to make rapid and major progress in negotiations overwhelmingly on Israel, with no acknowledgment — in his statements as broadcast Thursday — of two intifadas, relentless anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian territories, the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the constant rocket fire from the Strip.

For Netanyahu, watching Kerry’s from-the-heart interview must have topped what was already a pretty lousy day. In Geneva, the six world powers were inching toward a deal with the Iranians that the prime minister fears would leave Tehran with an enrichment capability even as the sanctions are eased — something Netanyahu considers a “historic error.”

Kerry weighed in on that, too, in the interview. Ultimately, if Iran doesn’t “meet the standards of the international community,” said the secretary unhappily, “there may be no option but the military option.” But, he quickly insisted, “we hope to avoid that.”

Just the sort of message Netanyahu has been urging the US not to deliver to Tehran.

Some of this is typical right-wing grumbling, but the shift in policy and tone is real. Freed from the need to win reelection, the Obama administration is no longer willing to put up with Netanyahu’s bullying.

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