UPDATE Israel: The End of an Alliance?
Update: 3:22pm on Friday 6th of march 2015
After weeks of debate about whether or not Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should speak to congress, the speech was finally delivered last week. The overarching message of Netanyahu’s address was that Iran will acquire nuclear capabilities if the Obama administration allows Iran to continue to flagrantly ignore sanctions while continuing to pursue weaponization goals. Netanyahu believes that any deal between the US and Iran can’t allow Iran to continue enriching uranium and hold onto their vast nuclear structure. In the end, 55 Democrats didn’t attend the speech – a far larger number than was projected. The controversy did not end after the speech: the Republicans uniformly saw the speech as important and needed; the Democrats uniformly saw the speech as useless and war mongering. Regardless of partisan debate, Netanyahu said that Israel will stand alone if they need to.
Days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, a Kuwaiti newspaper report has surfaced, which states that President Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jet fighters in 2014 if Israel attacked an Iranian nuclear weapons facility. The report was immediately picked up by various news outlets across the Middle East, before eventually reaching America. With the United States and Iran coordinating military attacks in Iraq together, this most recent threat to shoot down Israeli jets has made Americans question which country President Obama sees as America’s ally in the Middle East.
Within the report, it has been revealed that the US had been in secret talks with Iran, without Israel’s knowledge, and the resulting agreements were considered unacceptable to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Iran, an Islamic Republic, has repeatedly threatened to annihilate the Jewish State, so many in Israel are unnerved by reports that this openly violent society will soon obtain nuclear weapon capabilities. According to the Kuwaiti report, Mr. Netanyahu began organizing airstrikes against key components of the Iranian nuclear program. The Obama administration, quiet during the first 4 months of ISIS becoming the largest terror organization in history, quiet while Vladamir Putin illegally annexes the Ukraine, threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could ever reach their Iranian targets.
Iranian and American forces are currently working in tandem to defeat ISIS in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, but local Sunni and Kurdish populations have expressed fear that neither Iran nor its militia groups have any intention of ever letting go of their grasp on Iraq. Given the already boiled over tension between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite populations, even more Iranian influence on the Shiite controlled central Iraqi government is likely to cause more contention in the embattled country.
There has been no official response from either the White House or the Israeli government about the report, but President Obama and many members of the Democrat party have boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent talk to congress. These contentious past few weeks have been called a low point in the relationship between the United States and Israel.