Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s senior advisers have described the relationship between the Obama Administration and the Israeli government as “irreparable,” the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.
Their dire evaluation comes on the heels of weeks of hostility from the White House and State Department towards Netanyahu, a situation which has intensified since Netanyahu’s Likud party won the largest amount of Knesset seats in Israel’s general election last week.
Less than 24 hours after polls closed in Israel, and Likud’s win became evident, the administration was already openly talking about a “reevaluation” of the relationship with Israel. The stance was later toned down by administration officials to reevaluating the United States’ approach to the peace process.
The United States has hinted that its “re-evaluation” of the peace process might entail the withdrawal of its veto on some anti-Israel resolutions tabled at the UN Security Council.
The hostility from the Obama Administration has been focused on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks regarding the feasibility of establishing a Palestinian State, and his remarks regarding Israel’s Arab citizens. However, officials in Jerusalem think this is a mask for the real reason behind the crisis: Iran.
The officials are convinced that President Obama is adamant on cementing a rapprochement with the Iranian regime, engaging them as a regional ally, according to the JC‘s report. Israel, which sees things differently, has been constantly pushing back on this reversal in the United States’ approach towards the Islamic Republic, leading to friction between the sides.
Sources close to Netanyahu say that the tensions with the White House are “artificial and contrived,” a manufactured crisis to suppress Israeli opposition to a possible Iranian deal, expected to be signed within the next few days.
“The Palestinian issue is a side show,” said one Netanyahu aide. “The Americans know as well as we do that there is little hope of going forward with the diplomatic process – not because of Israel but due to anarchy on the Palestinian side.” The aide added that if the Americans “don’t succeed in signing a deal with the Iranians, the crisis will quickly pass.” However, if a deal were to be signed, “then nothing will help.”