US relations reached a new low

These are turbulent times for the relationship between Israel and its closest ally, the US.

In part, it is due to the lack of chemistry between the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the US President, Barack canada goose outlet uk sale Obama. But there are issues of substance too.

Their difficult relationship was hardly improved by Mr Netanyahu’s decision, during Israel’s recent general election campaign, to accept an invitation from the Republican Party leadership to give a joint address to Congress.

The Israeli prime minister used this as an opportunity to lobby against canada goose uk site the nuclear deal that Mr Obama is seeking to negotiate with Tehran.

Then there is also the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Earlier this month, President Obama gave a revealing interview to Israel’s Channel 2 television station.

canada goose uk shop It was an opportunity to speak directly to the Israeli public; to try to convince them of his fundamental support for the Jewish state. But he injected a warning note too. canada goose uk shop

He argued that if the current “status quo” between Israel and the Palestinians were not resolved, then demographics and the frustration of the Palestinians would force Israel into a choice “about the nature of the Israeli state and its character”.

There was a risk, he said, of Israel losing its “essential values”.

And he went further, warning that there could be more immediate diplomatic consequences too.

If there were no progress towards peace, Mr Obama said, there would be an impact upon “how we approach defending Israel on the international stage round the Palestinian issue”.

uk canada goose He then followed up with strong hints that the US might not necessarily obstruct any European effort to bring a resolution on the Palestinian problem to the UN Security Council. uk canada goose

cheap canada goose uk Rift ‘created’So how bad have relations between the two allies become? cheap canada goose uk

canada goose uk black friday Aaron David Miller, a former US Middle East negotiator, now at the Wilson Centre in Washington DC, told me that Mr Netanyahu’s speech to Congress had “created a rift and opened up the field for a degree of criticism of Israel that, frankly, I have not witnessed before in 20 plus years of working for half a dozen secretaries of state”. canada goose uk black friday

canadian goose jacket He added: “I have never seen it play out the way it has, and that I think is quite damaging.” canadian goose jacket

uk canada goose outlet JJ Goldberg, a senior columnist with the Forward and one of the canada goose outlet reviews most astute commentators on issues relating to Israel and the cheap canada goose US Jewish Community, told me: “It is hard to overstate the depth of suspicion toward the Obama administration within Israeli government circles and among Israel’s closest allies in the US. uk canada goose outlet

“The suspicion and hostility have had an impact over time, leaving the administration and its supporters disappointed, canada goose outlet mall frustrated and insulted at the level of contempt directed at them from Israel.”

Canada Goose sale However, he added: “It doesn’t seem to have shaken the underlying feelings of sympathy among governing and leadership circles here toward Israel as a nation and a symbol.” Canada Goose sale

canada goose factory sale This is what Prof Shai Feldman, director of the Crown Centre canada goose outlet paypal for Middle Eastern Studies, at Brandeis University, calls the “schizophrenia” in US policy towards Israel, and he explains it this way. canada goose factory sale

He told me: “The continued and significant military support for Israel, despite sharp disagreements between the canada goose vest outlet two principals, results from the fact that while canada goose outlet london President Obama’s understanding and interpretation of Israel’s best interests differs sharply from Netanyahu’s, the president is genuinely committed to Israel security and survival, and, in that, he reflects the canada goose outlet vip broader support for Israel in American public opinion, in key constituencies, and in the US Congress.”

Different directionsSo what went wrong?

Mr Goldberg said: “The most important fact is that after eight years of George W Bush, with his deeply conservative and essentially Manichaean outlook an outlook that comforts Israelis’ sense of isolation the two countries simultaneously changed governments in radically different directions.

“Israel lurched far to the right under Netanyahu, and America lurched to the left under Obama.”

But there has been another significant shift too. In the process, Israel has, to an extent, become a party political issue in Washington.

canada goose black friday sale Prof Feldman said: “The sharp contrast between the tense relationship between Netanyahu and Obama and the Israeli buy canada goose uk [prime minister’s] close relationship with the Republican leadership in the US Congress has contributed to making Israel, for the first time, a partisan issue a very dangerous development for the future of Israel’s ‘special relations with the US’.” canada goose black friday sale

Mr Goldberg agrees.

He said: “On the right, support for Israel has become a symbolic banner and a political litmus test in a way that Israel never was in America before.

“It’s often the second or third thing out of any Republican’s mouth after low taxes and abortion, and sometimes even ahead of abortion.

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