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Obama undermines US-Israeli relations

US-Israeli relations suffer ‘tectonic rift’

A senior Israeli diplomat has warned that the Jewish state’s relationship with the United States has suffered a “tectonic rift”.

The sobering assessment comes a week before Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, meets President Barack Obama at the White House.

There had been hope the two could lay to rest a row that erupted between the two allies in March but the new comments have raised fears of long-term damage.

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, told foreign ministry colleagues at a private briefing in Jerusalem that they were facing a long and potentially irrevocable estrangement.

Sources said Mr Oren told the meeting: “There is no crisis in Israel-US relations because in a crisis there are ups and downs. [Instead] relations are in a state of tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart.”

Mr Oren’s privately-voiced pessimism stands in stark contrast to public declarations in both Jerusalem and Washington that differences between the two states amount to nothing more than “disagreements” between allies.

The ambassador told the Jerusalem Post newspaper last week that US-Israel ties were stronger than many observers believed.

Unlike his previous encounter with Mr Obama in March, when he was given a stern dressing-down and denied permission to hold a joint press conference, Mr Netanyahu’s visit to the White House next Tuesday is likely to be cloaked in civility.

The Israeli prime minister is being promised photo opportunities with his host in the White House Rose Garden and perhaps even an invitation to Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.

But the show of unity is being seen as a sop to members of Mr Obama’s party who afraid of angering Jewish American voters ahead of November’s midterm elections than as a sign of genuine rapprochement.

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1 comment to Obama undermines US-Israeli relations

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    The Obama administration is reportedly signaling another major shift in policy towards one of its staunchest allies, Israel, and this shift could change the way it votes at the Security Council. The change would mean an end to the US’ use of its veto power in the United Nations Security Council when certain anti-Israel resolutions are introduced for a vote.‪

    Reports surfaced a couple of weeks ago, that a senior US diplomat met with Qatar’s foreign minister in Paris. They discussed the possibility that the US was giving serious consideration to not using its veto if a vote on Israeli settlements was to come up. It has been the policy of successive administrations to veto virtually all anti-Israel resolutions at the Security Council.‪

    http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/04/19/obama-and-israel-showdown-at-the-un/

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