Are the U.S.'s Relations With Israel Really Suffering a "Tectonic Rift?"

TEL AVIV - Israeli-US relations have undergone a huge shift amounting to what Israel's ambassador to Washington has termed "a genuine tectonic rift," media reports said on Sunday.


Briefing officials at the foreign ministry last week, ambassador Michael Oren described the state of ties between Israel and its closest ally as worse than a crisis, something akin to that of two continents drifting apart.

According to one diplomat quoted by the Haaretz daily, Oren used bleak terms to explain the changes which have taken place under the administration of US President Barack Obama.

"Relations are in the state of a tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart," Oren was quoted as saying by the diplomat.

Another diplomat who spoke to the top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily said there had been an historic change in Washington's approach to Israel.

"There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs," he quoted Oren as saying.

Both papers quoted Oren as attributing the shift in sentiment to "interests and cold considerations" by Obama who did not have the same historical-ideological bent towards Israel as his predecessors.

The Israeli foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment on the reports, which came just over a week before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to the White House for talks with Obama.

Israeli-US relations have taken a battering in recent months amid a row over illegal Jewish settlement building in Israeli-occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem and the fallout from a deadly Israeli raid on an international aid fleet trying to break the blockade on Gaza.

The two leaders had been due to meet on June 1 for a reconciliatory meeting that was called off at the last minute after the flotilla raid.

US military chief in Israel for top-level talks

The top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday for talks with Israeli military and defence officials, both sides said.

"This is a very short visit -- he will meet with Defence Minister (Ehud) Barak and with (Chief of Staff) Gaby Ashkenazi and a few others from the defence establishment," a US embassy spokesman said.

Mullen, who is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was expected to meet Barak at around midday, the Israeli defence ministry said without giving further details.

A military spokesman said the meeting would focus on "cooperation between the two armies and the challenges they have to face," but defence officials quoted by the Jerusalem Post said the two would discuss Iran's nuclear programme and the situation in Syria and Lebanon.

They would also discuss the deterioration in relations between Israel and Turkey in the wake of the disastrous naval raid on a Gaza-bound aid fleet which left nine Turkish activists dead, the paper said.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}