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Then Vice President Joe Biden and PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Always opposed

The crisis between the US and Israel is growing, and there is an increasing understanding in Washington that Israel needs to be saved from itself. Indeed, this is US meddling in Israel’s internal affairs, which is an unusual phenomenon – but not a new one.

The concern of the US is not only regarding the judicial reform but also Israel’s conduct toward the Palestinians and the violence in Judea and Samaria. Moreover, the Americans are worried that Israel’s internal division is undermining its deterrence against enemies in the region, primarily Iran.


The relations between the US and Israel are special; therefore, the Biden administration thinks it is allowed to demand more consideration from Israel regarding its positions. Administration officials are furious over statements made by coalition ministers and Knesset members who say that the president, his vice president, and his staff do not understand what is happening here.

Netanyahu’s assumption that the US will not go too far in pressuring Israel due to the upcoming US presidential elections in 2024 is mistaken. American Jewry disapproves of the Israeli government’s policy regarding the judicial reforms and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it is the one pressuring Biden to take a clearer stance towards Israel.

The US looks more at the rifts in the Coalition than at the one between the Coalition and the Opposition. Netanyahu assured the US that he was the one holding the reins. Still, in the US sees the Coalition’s more extreme members – Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir – as the ones calling the shots. Therefore, the US is pressuring him to deal with them and tone down the government’s policy regarding judicial matters and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Thomas Friedman’s commentary represents a more radical position of the Biden administration against Netanyahu. Still, in my assessment, it somewhat strengthens the criticism because it uses the term “reassessment,” – which implies a negative impact on the American supply of weapons to Israel, as was the case in 1975.

At this stage, the United States’ disapproval may be reflected less in its military and security relations with Israel and more in political matters, primarily in its defense of Israel in the international institutions of the UN and its agencies.

All recent American positions are signals to Netanyahu that he needs to change his policy, or else the crisis will worsen. Therefore, what needs to be done, especially against the backdrop of Iran’s advancing nuclear program, is to voice less outlandish criticism against US views, and adopt a moderate policy regarding the topics that are important to it, and be more considerate of the American concerns.

But Israel’s internal affairs are not the only thing bothering the US government; its conduct in Judea and Samaria does as well. They believe that the Israeli government did not properly handle the Jewish reprisal rampages in Hawara and Turmus Ayya, the more problematic village, because Turmus Ayya has many residents who are American citizens.

The United States’ recent statements can indeed sound like they support the protests. Still, they are much more about the relations within the Israeli Coalition and the US government’s demand that Netanyahu take control of its radical members and dictate policy to them, not vice versa.

{Reposted from Israel Hayom}


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