Israel and United States Relations Have Soured


Relations between the Israeli government and the United States (US) have soured over the last few years. The relationship between the two countries really started to head south after the US announced its plan to open negotiations with Iran to help the country develop their own nuclear technology.

Soon after the negotiations started last year news broke that the Jewish state was spying on the closed-door meetings. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to have current information on the negotiations so he could build a case to appose these proposals. The fact that the two countries are spying on one another is not shocking, with the US government even downplaying the actual espionage. According to a senior US official, “It is one thing for the U.S. and Israel to spy on each other. It is another thing for Israel to steal U.S. secrets and play them back to U.S. legislators to undermine U.S. diplomacy.” Over the years the US government just tolerated the spying by the Israelis, but now a line has been crossed.

President Obama has come out publicly against some of Netanyahu’s policies. This is drastically different from the past when the bond between the two countries was seen as unbreakable. This is a sure indicator of the soured relations between the US and Israel. One of the biggest differences between the past relations and now is that the US has traditionally opposed the idea of supporting Palestinian statehood, telling Palestine to try and come to an understanding with the neighboring country. This has changed, when Prime Minister Netanyahu was re-elected recently Obama went on to suggest that it is possible that the US would not oppose Palestine appealing their case to the United Nations. After the re election of Netanyahu both the Obama administration and the comments made by the Prime Minister about Palestinian statehood will force the US to reevaluate it’s policy regarding the nation and their disagreements with the Palestine Territories.

When Netanyahu was campaigning he commented that their would be no Palestinian state as long as he served as Prime Minister. This was enough to win him support with many of the countries conservative population. These comments were very troubling to the US especially after last year’s violent conflict. The US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, confided during an interview “This was not Israel’s stance until those comments. It is confusing and raises doubts regarding Israel’s true stance.”

Even with the soured relations between the US and Israel, the two countries still have a long history of support. The US is currently standing by their side regarding the question of human rights violations in their war with Palestine. Country after country accused Israel of war crimes, with Algeria going so far as to accuse them of genocide. The accusations were primarily concerning the treatment of Palestinian protestors as well as the many sanctions that have been imposed on Palestine over the years. Maybe in time the tensions will ease, but as of now Obama and Netanyahu need to reach a common ground.

By James Dixson



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Photo by: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley – Flickr License

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