The White House is not denying a report that President Obama repeatedly said that "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are."
The comment [was] reported by columnist Jeffrey Goldberg.
"Obama, who has a famously contentious relationship with the prime minister, told several people that he he has become inured to what he sees as self-defeating policies of his Israeli counterpart," Goldberg wrote.
"In the weeks after the UN vote, Obama said privately and repeatedly, 'Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are'..."
Obama, Israelis, and Palestinians: More Words, Less Action -David Makovsky & David Pollock
Objecting to new Israeli construction in the West Bank is at best only half a strategy. To promote Israeli-Palestinian peace, the U.S. needs to pay at least as much attention to hate speech as to housing starts.
Does Obama Know Better than Israel What Its Interests Are? -Jonathan S. Tobin
The accusations that the White House used Jeffrey Goldberg's column to get even with Netanyahu are probably untrue. The president and his foreign policy team are probably aware that an American attempt to influence the vote in Israel would backfire. Obama is deeply unpopular in Israel and every time he has picked a fight with Netanyahu it has only strengthened the prime minister's standing at home.
The assumption underlying Goldberg's article was that Netanyahu is isolating his country via policies that are not aimed at encouraging "Palestinian moderates." The decision to allow building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and its suburbs that would be kept by Israel even if there were a two-state solution is seen by Obama and the Europeans as intolerable provocations that should be punished. But most Israelis see these issues very differently.
Obama's evaluation of the situation shows that he is still focusing only on what Israel does and ignoring the reality of a Palestinian political culture that is incapable of accepting peace. If real peace were an option, no Israeli political leader would be able to resist accepting it. Pretending that such a choice is available to Israel is mere posturing, not a policy.