Troubled only begins to describe the state of the the relationship between President Obama’s Administration and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, the tension has come to a head as Netanyahu increases pressure on the U.S.
On Friday, an interview with Netanyahu was published, during which he implied that Israel may not be able to rely on the U.S. claims of taking action against Iran. This is following, what some perceived, as a harsh statement made earlier in the week in which he said, “those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran do not have the moral right to place a red light before Israel.”
Recently, the Israeli PM has made requests to the U.S. to set a timetable for action against Iranian nuclear facilities, claiming that Iran is close to nuclear capability, a fact that Iran is quick to deny. He has pointed out that action now could lead to less need for force in the future. The rhetoric from the Obama administration has been a promise to keep Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon but refusal to set a timeline. Cautioning the necessity to wait, they say there is still time.
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated “We’re watching very carefully to see what they do because it has always been more about their actions than their words.”
Comments such as that prompted Netanyahu to ask, “How long must we wait?” How long indeed? And for what action would Clinton and the administration wait? For Iran to realize nuclear capability and take military action against Israel?
Despite the obvious pressure added to U.S./Israel relations, Obama has denied a request made by the Israeli leader for a meeting when he visits the U.S. for a UN General Assembly Meeting later this month. Representatives for Obama site scheduling conflicts as the reason for denying the request. However, Obama has made time to meet with Egypt’s President and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Morsi next week.
Egypt is an Obama proclaimed non-ally while Israel has been a long-standing friend and ally of the U.S.; which begs the question, with friends like the Obama administration…