Strained relationship between U.S. – Israel continues



Over the past few months, Iran’s nuclear weapon development and the Gaza conflict and has caused the Israel-United States relationship to be strained.

“This is the most sustained period of antagonism in the relationship,” Daniel C. Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel said in a New York Times interview. “I don’t know how the relationship recovers as long as you have this president and this prime minister.”

On March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States in a Congress joint session that it was negotiating a bad deal with Iran about its nuclear weapon development. According to Reuters, President Obama’s negotiation could cause a “nuclear nightmare.”

“It will all but guarantee that Iran will get those nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “We’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”

Obama’s deal with Iran will allow them to continue work related to its nuclear program under international inspector’s watch.

“I don’t think Obama is handling [the situation] correctly because any nuclear power in Iran is dangerous,” Jennifer Pierre, seventh grade vocal major said.

Another factor in the strained relationship was Netanyahu’s government largely dismissing United States diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Gaza. The Obama administration called an Israeli attack near the U.N. school in Gaza “horrifying” and “disgraceful,” according to CNN.

Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary said, “That suspicion that Hamas fighters are operating in the vicinity of innocent civilian does not justify taking strikes that put the lives of those innocent civilians at risk.”

In spite of the clear tension, the White House seemed resolute to tamp down the strain outburst.

“The nature of our relationship is strong and unchanged,” Earnest said, referring to Netanyahu’s comments. “I think the United States has been terrific.”

Disagreements between the U.S. and Israel have occurred before. According to the New York Times, former President Ronald Reagan sold Awacs surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia despite Israel’s objections. President George H.W. Bush continued loan guarantee to the Israeli government because of Israeli settlement construction.

David Gergen, former advisor to four U.S. presidents said, “It’s probably the worst relationship between a leader of the United States and a leader of Israel since all the way back to the Eisenhower days.”