Concerns were raised yesterday over relations between the two countries at a House of Representatives subcommittee meeting, as Israeli officials met with their US counterparts.
A hearing took place yesterday at the US House of Representatives subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, during which several US lawmakers expressed their concern over the state of Israel-US relations. During the hearing, titled ‘Safeguarding Israel’s Security in a Volatile Region’, committee chairman Rep. Steve Chabot said he was ‘increasingly concerned over the last several months about the future of the US-Israel security relationship’. Meanwhile, Elliott Abrams, a former official in George W. Bush’s administration also gave a testimony and said ‘our political relationship and cooperation are worse than they have been for many years, perhaps for two decades.’
However, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, former US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross said that the US would support any Israeli action against an existential threat, adding that ‘The US as its [Israel’s] one true ally in the world needs to be there and will be there. I have no doubt of that, regardless of who’s president.’
Yesterday also saw Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak meet with Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, US President Obama’s former Chief of Staff. Israeli reports speculated that the meeting was intended to send a calming message to Obama over possible disagreements on Iran. Similarly, the Israeli daily Maariv reported that Israel’s National Security advisor Ya’akov Amidror is currently making a secret visit to Washington for talks with White House officials in order to reach a better common understanding on ‘red lines’ to be set over Iran’s nuclear programme.