US-Israeli relations appear to be in danger of sinking to their lowest level in recent years. The issue at stake is Iran.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is aggressively opposing the nuclear deal that the US government is negotiating with Iran.
“I respect the White House”, said the Israeli premier, “I respect the president of the United States, but in such a fateful matter that can determine if we exist or not, it is my duty to do everything to prevent this great, great danger to Israel.”
Netanyahu has accepted an invitation from Republican John Boehner to address congress in March, and he is expected to use the opportunity to attack US policy on Iran.
That prompted President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice to publicly state on TV on Tuesday that such a speech would inject a destructive “partisanship” into US-Israeli relations.
Also weighing in on the argument is US Secretary of State John Kerry:
“Israel is safer today with the added time we have given and the stoppage of the Iranian nuclear programme than they were before we got that agreement, which, by the way the prime minister (Netanyahu) opposed”.
The Israeli premier will fight a tough election at home on March 17. That may cause him to toughen rather than soften his criticism of US policy on Iran.