President Barack Obama on Monday denied betraying Israel by not using the U.S. veto against an anti-settlement resolution at the United Nations Security Council last month.
Obama said it was his duty as president "to do what I think is right," according to an interview he gave on Israeli television.
"I did believe it was important to send a signal and to lift up the facts that so often get buried under other news in terms of what is happening with settlements in the West Bank," he said. "The fact of the matter is that I'm president until January 20, and I have an obligation to do what I think is right."
"Unfettered support for Israel, and support for the Netanyahu government's policies, no matter what they are, no matter how inimical they may be to the prospect of peace, if that's what qualifies as a good friend, I believe we will see a worsening situation over time," he said.