United States an Israeli International Relations: Netanyahu’s Upcoming Visit to America
There is a great deal of tension within the United States political parties, as well as between the United States and Israel over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to the United States. The controversy surrounding Netanyahu’s visit is with regards to his planned talk in front of Congress. He was invited by House Speaker John Boehner (CNN, 2015).
As a result of this, many in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration are upset by this. For example, National Security Advisor Susan Rice called his prepared visit to speak to Congress “destructive”. Specifically, she was quoted as saying that ““What has happened over the last several weeks, by virtue of the invitation that was issued by the Speaker, the acceptance of it by Prime Minister Netanyahu on two weeks in advance of his election, is that on both sides there has now been injected a degree of partisanship which is not only unfortunate but it’s destructive of the fabric of the relationship” (CNN, 2015).
Some are upset that Netanyahu will be speaking to Congress about Iran’s nuclear program, particularly since the U.S. government is working to find a diplomatic solution to the situation with Iran’s nuclear program (and interestingly even Mossad seems to have disagreed with Netayanu’s timeline regarding Iran developing a nuclear weapon). In fact, “Some Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Patrick Leahy, plan to skip out on Netanyahu’s address because of the snub and because Netanyahu will be directly opposing Obama’s diplomatic efforts on Iran. And Israeli leaders, including former President Shimon Peres, have criticized Netanyahu’s visit as damaging to the relationship with the United States” (CNN, 2015).
It has been evident for quite some time that Netanyahu is willing to have states use military force against Iran. His continued pressure on this issue, as well as his lack of concern with regards to the Obama Administration’s wishes is concerning. The Untied States’ international relations with Israel continue to be strong (they continued to supply Israel with military weapons, even as they were using them in the war in Gaza where over 2,000 civilians were said to be killed). However, the United States is at least voicing their frustration with plans for additional settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. While the relations between these states will continue to be strong (since, given the history of tension in recent years, the two states continued to have strong relations), this recent action be Netanyahu is upsetting to those who question why foreign leaders should have such a voice in Congress without both parties’ support, as well as those who are hoping for a diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program.