US-Israel Relations Will ‘Certainly Improve’ With Any New President, Former State Dept. Official Says


aaron david millerRelations between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu have hit such rock-bottom levels that it does not really matter who is elected in 2016, relations are bound to improve, wrote former State Department official Aaron David Miller in his Wall Street Journal blog on Friday.

Miller noted that relations would likely improve both in “tone and style, and also possibly substance,” although Obama has persistently touted the line that his administration has been better for Israeli security than any previous administration.

Having worked in the State Department for more than two decades, Miller noted that he had never seen as “poisonous” a relationship develop between the leaders from both countries, although there were certainly points of contention between previous administrations and Israeli governments, such as president George H.W. Bush and former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir (over housing loans withheld by the U.S.) and even Netanyahu during his first term in the 1990’s and president Bill Clinton.

“After nearly eight years of policy and personality differences between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, there is little trust, little capacity to extend the benefit of the doubt, and little respect–in contrast to Mr. Clinton and [former Israeli prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin or George W. Bush and [former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon–let alone personal admiration and affection],” wrote Miller.

Still, obstacles exist on the road to improving relations again, as the U.S. and Israel have butted heads over issues such as Iran and negotiations with the Palestinians, which collapsed last year after a nine-month push by Secretary of State John Kerry without making significant headway.

Miller noted that if Hillary Clinton became president, relations would improve certainly in tone as the former secretary of state has carried amicable relations with several Israeli officials. Any of the 17 Republican candidates would certainly “normalize” relations as well, wrote Miller, especially as most GOP hopefuls shun the Obama administration’s nuclear deal and have shown little interest in the Palestinians, unlike Obama.

The Algemeiner Journal

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  1. Hillary Clinton indeed has amicable relations with several Israeli officials – those on the left and the far left. Those who are willing and eager to trade Israeli security for a smile and a pat on the head from the master in Washington. Those who consider J street the true representatives of the Jews and Israel. And Clinton operatives have been active in the past two Israeli elections in organizing street demonstration and votes against Netanyahu.

    Yes, indeed. If Clinton is the next president, relations will improve immensely [sarcasm].

  2. Hillary Clinton is an evil, power-hungry, Machiavellian individual who has no love for anything but herself. I don’t think she will win the Democratic nomination and, for the good of the United States, I truly hope she doesn’t. Bill Clinton, for all his flaws, was a pretty good president and honestly meant well. Hillary, OTOH, means well for herself and herself only. I look at her as one of very few people who have zero core values or principles and honestly the idea of her as President scares me. She would be bad for the United States and bad for Israel. I say all this as a moderate conservative who voted for Bill Clinton twice and would do so again.