(JNi.media) The first operational consequences of the bitter dispute between Israel and the White House on the Iran agreement have begun to pop their ugly heads, as Israel is refusing extensive US offers of military and security cooperation, IsraelDefense and Makor Rishon columnist Amir Rapaport reported.
At this point, Israel is refusing to participate in a massive joint training exercise with the US military, scheduled for 2016.
The exercise, code-named Juniper Cobra 2016, was expected to include a long list of cooperative activities, and to include the US-financed Israeli missile defense system, which is partially based on American capabilities.
Over the past few weeks, Rapaport says Israel, in an unprecedented manner, has been doubtful as to its willingness to participate—compared to previous times, when the IDF went out of its way to take part in joint exercises, and, in 2012, complained bitterly that it was being kept out of a key NATO summit meeting in Chicago because of Turkey’s objection.
Now, paradoxically, according to Rapapaort, the Americans are all too eager to cooperate with Israel, while the Israeli political leadership has decided that the IDF will not cooperate with the Americans.
“This has given rise to the absurd situation where the Americans are willing to offer us more than we want to receive,” Rapaport writes.
Last month, immediately following the signing of the Iran deal, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Israel to discuss a security compensation package the Americans were offering. But Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon politely declined. That was the first hint the Israelis considered the White House’s betrayal too fundamental to be paved over with dollar bills.
But the seeds of rancor were sown even earlier, according to Rapaport, when, during the 2014 Protective Edge operation in Gaza, the White House decided against sending Israel urgently needed supply of arms and ammunition which were vital to the IDF because of the unexpected length of the war (it ended up lasting 51 days).
That decision was nothing short of traumatic to the Israeli defense apparatus, states Rapaport, and that wound is yet to heal, even a year later.
One of the immediate results of that American military embargo (which extended to the UK, as well) was an Israeli decision to keep its ammunition production in local Israeli manufacturing plants, even when it is a project involving cooperation with the US, to prevent such an embargo from ever happening again.
Rapaport believes much depends on the outcome of the Iran deal vote—veto—override process in the US Congress. If the deal fails, recovery of the relationship between the Pentagon and the IDF will come sooner. Which means that, in typical Israeli fashion, this thing will remain unresolved until “after the holidays.”