News / USA

Analysts say US-Israel Relationship Scarred by Settlements Dispute

Meredith Buel

Middle East analysts are expressing concern a disagreement between the United States and Israel over Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem will leave scars in the relationship and may raise the risk of Israeli military strikes against Iran's nuclear program.  

Some influential Middle East analysts, speaking in Washington, say they are concerned by a growing dispute between the United States and Israel over the construction of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.  Their comments were made at the opening of the annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization.  

Washington Institute for Near East Policy Executive Director Robert Satloff told thousands of AIPAC delegates the dispute will have consequences. "We are in a very serious moment.  I would say it is more five or six on the Richter scale, not eight or nine, in terms of the depth of this crisis.  But it is real.  When it is resolved and I think it is in the process of being resolved, it will leave scars between the two sides I think at the very highest levels," he said.

Israel's plan to build 1,600 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem was announced during a recent trip to Israel by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.  U.S. officials called the timing "insulting," and the move was condemned by diplomats from the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union at a meeting of the international Quartet on Middle East peace.

Analyst Satloff said the disagreement could embolden Iran to accelerate its nuclear program. "I think that the impact of this crisis is to hasten Iranian efforts to achieve a nuclear weapons capability and ultimately, because there are scars now in the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship, perhaps even to hasten the clock on Israeli preventive action against that Iranian nuclear capability," he said.

Iran denies it is trying to build nuclear weapons, but Israel views the program as a threat to its existence.

U.S. Senator Evan Bayh told convention delegates Iran should not be encouraged by the current disagreement over settlements. "I think the Iranians make a miscalculation here if they look at this temporary spat, rhetorical spat, between some aspects in Israel and some elements of the U.S. government, as a lack of resolve on our part, that would be very damaging and so it is incumbent upon all of us, the United States, Israel and others to show that we will simply not stand for the Iranians achieving a nuclear capability," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are scheduled to address the AIPAC convention Monday.  The prime minister's office says Mr. Netanyahu will meet Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.

The U.S. envoy on Middle East peace, George Mitchell, is in the region trying to start indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

A former senior policy advisor to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tal Becker, told convention delegates such talks could have positive results. "I think if the talks begin and are substantive rather than an exercise in evasion, we can at least bring closer a real dialog and it is certainly better than not talking.  I think we have a real opportunity to insure that the West Bank is not a failed state or a terror state and no one can afford that.  And I think we do have a chance of increasingly marginalizing Hamas," he said.

The militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

Among the other scheduled speakers at the AIPAC convention is former British Prime Minister and Middle East Quartet representative Tony Blair.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More