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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs