U.S. and Israel communication strained


by Robin Alcantara  |Staff Writer|

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon

The White House released a statement on Wednesday, Oct. 29 reaffirming the strength of the relationship between the United States and Israel.
“The United States is as committed as it has ever been to the security of Israel,” said United States Press Secretary Josh Earnest in his daily press briefing.
His statement comes as a response to recent reports by CNN and other news reports questioning the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
CNN reported U.S. officials “snubbed” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon by denying him meetings during his visit to the U.S.
Ya’alon reportedly arrived in the U.S with the intention of meeting with United States Vice President Joe Biden, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry who earlier this year Ya’alon criticized for being “obsessive and messianic,” according to haaretz.com, an Israeli news website.
Ya’alon was instead granted meetings with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador United Nations’ U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power.
The Department of Defense released the following statement, “Secretary Hagel and Minister Ya’alon discussed a range of regional issues. They agreed to continue to work together to maintain the strength of the U.S. Israeli security relationship.”
With no official statements from the White House concerning Ya’alon’s visit, further speculation developed as a report by The Atlantic stated that an unnamed U.S. senior official made a derogatory statement about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
USA-and-Israel-flags side by side After The Atlantic article was published, Netanyahu was quoted, “I was personally attacked purely because I defend Israel, and despite all attacks against me, I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel.”
Kerry also made his disapproval of statements against Netanyahu, public stating that remarks made about the prime minister are not his views nor the views of the president.
“[Kerry] feels strongly that a war of words is not productive from either side,” said Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office during her daily press briefing on Oct. 29, 2014.
“It is in the best interest of both sides to address any issues that may arise appropriately and respectfully,” Psaki added.
“Comments like that do not reflect the administration’s view, and we do believe they are counterproductive,” according to a White House briefing.
The relationship between the U.S. and Israel came to be in 1948 when President Truman recognized Israel’s self-proclaimed statehood.
“[Netanyahu] remained confident that the current disagreements between the U.S. and Israel would not affect the two countries’ deep connection,’” stated Times of Israel’s Lazar Berman in his Oct. 29 article.
“The fact is the United States and Israel have an unshakable bond, and that the security cooperation that is underway between officials in the Israeli government, up to and including Prime Minister Netanyahu, and officials in the United States government, up to and including President Obama, indicate a very close coordination when it comes to the matters related to security,” stated Earnest.
Both Israel officials and U.S. officials have stated that the bond is crucial.



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