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A Special Relationship Between The United States And Israel

1391 words - 6 pages

The relationship between the State of Israel and the United States of America has blossomed into a significant bilateral alliance. The ‘special relationship’ between the two countries has been the driving force behind much of the progress of the United States’ push into middle east democracy, and has helped place Israel in the company of countries who will stand by her in times of trouble. As of late, there have been increasing pushes by the Untied States for Israel to once again enter into peace talks with the Palestinians, a topic which seems to be the source of constant international commentary. These developments have brought to the forefront a rather interesting facet of the ...view middle of the document...

Some have already viewed this framework critically. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon went on record calling Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic. ” Although ad-hominem attacks do little to reflect on wide-sweeping foreign policy aims of a country, it is clear that the Israelis feel as though Kerry, and on a wider basis the US, are motivated more by making themselves look like the brokers of peace, than in any actual peace settlements that would result. Ya’alon went so far as to accuse Kerry of caring only about receiving a Nobel Peace prize as his motivation behind the peace talks. Others have repeated these sentiments, as accusations flew that the apparent goal of Kerry and indeed Washington as a whole, was to use the latest round peace talks, and any potential progress resulting from them as a “bragging point”.
Negative sentiments towards John Kerry didn’t stop with Ya’alon, although his were the most pointed at Kerry himself, many others spoke out regarding the effects negotiations would have on Israel regardless of how such negotiations would make the US look: Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz – “It [is] impossible to expect Israel to negotiate with a gun to its head,” Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On – (On the Americans) “I respect them, but their policies are incorrect, ” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett – “Flawed decision making on the part of the US government has endangered the security of Israel,” and perhaps most severe of all, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin claiming that “adopting Kerry’s proposal would be suicide for Israel.” These leaders have gone to great lengths to stand against the Americans’ foreign policies on the grounds that it would harm Israel. Although such comments can be viewed from an American standpoint as overreactions (as the US is perhaps Israel’s closest ally), it is clear that these politicians have Israel’s best interests at heart. From the prospective of Israeli foreign policy, the ability to stand up to one of its largest allies on the grounds of self-protection is notable and deserving of commendation.
Regardless of the Israeli’s intended end goal (or their true feeling about America and the peace talks), individuals like Ya’alon’s attacks on Kerry serve to potentially destabilize the relationship between Israel and the US. Haaretz noted that an Israeli Defense Minister had never before directed such attacks at an American Secretary of State while both were still in office and maintaining such close ties, with a reporter going so far as to claim that such actions and accusations on the part of Ya’alon were “no less than an atomic bomb dropped on the sensitive zone of Israeli-US relations.” For their part some Israeli officials have come to Kerry’s aid in an effort to maintain the balance in Israeli/US Relations. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman perhaps put it best when he simply said, “Where is the wisdom in turning friends into foes?” Such questions are ones Israel will need to ask itself in the coming months...

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