News / Middle East

Netanyahu Ally Urges More Cautious Tone With US

FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid smile during a joint news conference in Jerusalem, July 2013.
FILE - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid smile during a joint news conference in Jerusalem, July 2013.
Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should take the heat out of his dispute with U.S. President Barack Obama, his top coalition partner said on Tuesday, warning that the spat over Iran was not helping Israel.

Relations between Israel and Washington, traditionally the closest of allies, have soured over the past month with Netanyahu openly criticizing Obama for backing the big powers' interim deal with Iran meant to curb its nuclear activities.

Some analysts believe U.S.-Israeli ties have deteriorated to their worst point in more than 20 years, unsettling the Jewish state which relies heavily on military and diplomatic support from Washington.

“I think we have to lower the flames with the Americans,” said Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who heads the second largest party in the Israeli government. “This confrontation isn't good and it also doesn't serve our goal,” he told Army radio.

U.S. officials have sought to calm Israeli jitters, saying they will push for a comprehensive deal with the Iranians at the next round of negotiations, repeating past pledges that Washington will not let Tehran develop an atomic bomb.

Lapid said he agreed the Iran interim accord was not good, backing the generally held view in Israel that it let Tehran off the hook just as economic sanctions were hitting hard, but said Netanyahu needed to air his frustrations in private.

“This is the best way to do it and so it has always been. You sit behind closed doors and speak about it quietly,” he said, echoing comments made by opposition politicians.

Israel fears Iran is trying to develop atomic bombs, something Tehran denies, and has threatened to attack the Islamist state if it concludes that diplomacy and sanctions cannot bring about a dismantling of its atomic program.

Israel is widely presumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal. Western powers suspect Iran has sought to develop the means to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran says it is enriching uranium solely for future civilian atomic energy and to make isotopes for medicine.

A poll published late Monday by the Tel Aviv University-Israel Democracy Institute Peace Index showed that 77 percent of Israelis do not believe the world powers' deal will lead to the end of what they see as Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Seventy-one percent of Israelis thought the United States was still their closest ally, although 49 percent said Israel needed to find new partners to reduce their dependence on Washington.

Inner circle

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday for yet another round of talks centered on Iran and also faltering Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

A diplomatic source said Kerry and Netanyahu had a furious discussion at their last meeting in Israel on Nov. 8, with advisers from both sides asked to leave the room.

There is little sign that the conversation will be much warmer this time around.

An Israeli watchdog, Peace Now, reported more plans for Jewish settlement building in occupied West Bank territory - which Palestinians seek as part of a future state - ahead of Kerry's visit.

A spokesman for the group said on Tuesday Israel had since July advanced plans for 3,000 new settler homes and that in all 8,500 were in “various stages of construction” since March.

At least two local newspapers published articles on Tuesday quoting Israeli officials lambasting Obama's inner circle and defending Netanyahu's outspoken handling of the Iran issue.

The Israel Hayom daily, which is very close to Netanyahu's rightist political camp, quoted an official in his office comparing the current situation with the 1930s, when Jews warned of the risk posed by Nazi Germany.

“Seventy-five years ago, when there was no [Israeli] state, the Jews tried to talk with American President Roosevelt behind closed doors, and that did not really help the Jews of Europe,” the unnamed official was quoted as saying.

Netanyahu has compared the dispute with Iran to the build-up to World War II, with some of his supporters putting the recent Geneva accord on a par with the 1938 Munich Agreement, when Britain and France tried to avoid conflict with Germany.

You May Like

Italian Red Cross Chief: Don't Label Migrants 'Illegal'

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York Wednesday Francesco Rocca says migrants are victims, not criminals More

US Intel Officials Cautious About New IS Threat

Threat, said to have been posted by alleged American member of Islamic State terror group, says Sunday’s attack in Texas ‘is only the beginning’ More

Eyes in Sky Monitor Weather, Predict Epidemics

Satellites track storms, population movements, ocean warming to predict disease conditions More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
December 04, 2013 8:22 AM
Caution to the winds. Obama has not made any reservation in showing his dislike for Israel, so what is the caution for? Like play, Iran builds and possesses nuclear warhead and all you tell Israel is 'we are working on something to ensure Iran does not possess nuclear weapon'. In the face of a drought of intelligence - the CIA is not as effective as we thought it was, and Turkey has given away Israel's troop working inside of Iran whose report we had relied before now - how can anyone be sure now what Iran is going to do with the deal handed it on a platta of gold?

There are things that can be left to diplomacy, not matters of life and death - as Iran's nuclear deal portends to Israel. Like Turkey who gave away Israel's intelligence network inside Iran, the USA should be seen in the light of the betrayal, of conceding to Iran the capability to enrich nuclear materials inside Iran wherein everyone understands Iran is not to be trusted with issues of religion, the Resistance and the Liberation of Palestine, and so can do anything to wipe Israel out - if it can afford it.

Especially as a gift to the Arab and islamist world, to claim regional leadership, Iran can do anything with the nuclear program, topmost of it is remove Israel from the world map. Already we see how Iran is going about trying to regain the attention of Arab countries in the region. This stage is set when USA and others conceded uranium et al enrichment to Iran. And why not speak out against it; is it until Israel has been wiped out that Netanyahu will talk to Obama whose administrative lapses, albeit a deliberate miscalculation, let the cat out of the bag? There is no caution needed here, because more than in the second world war, Israel is again confronted with a struggle for sustenance and liberation - an existential threat - no thanks to USA who empowered Iran to pursue such destructive program.

by: JohnWV from: USA
December 04, 2013 6:14 AM
In America disapproval of Israeli or Jewish doings begets accusation of antisemitism, of racism. THIS IS NO ACCIDENT. It is a cunningly planned and successfully accomplished achievement. Our news media is mostly Jewish owned and blatantly Israel/Jew biased. Our electoral process has been corrupted by AIPAC, the Jewish Conference of Presidents and enormous amounts of Jewish money. Israel has occupied not just Palestine, but America too.

The Wall Street felons remaining unpunished, AIPAC actually writing congressional legislation, and lack of treason indictments attest to the depth of the occupation. The Jewish state instigated all our Mideast wars and benefited from all. None were in American interests, yet we did the dying and suffered the Great Recession. Our diminished America is now being overthrown from within and transformed into a world dominating racist ultra power, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs