Benjamin Netanyahu and bodyguards

by Adam Horowitz

For months we’ve been crowing on the site about how the Netanayahu/Lieberman government is hurting American Jewish support for, and identification with, Israel. Well now we’re getting confirmation from the horse’s mouth.

An internal memo from Nadav Tamir [1], the Israeli General Counsel in Boston, to the Israeli Foreign Ministry charges that the Netanyahu government is hurting the US/Israeli relationship. Tamir is warning the Netanyahu government that they are weakening the relationship between American Jews and Israel by continuing to thumb their nose at the American administration. From a Haaretz report:

"The manner in which we are conducting relations with the American administration is causing strategic damage to Israel," Tamir wrote. "The distance between us and the U.S. administration has clear consequences for Israeli deterrence."

"There are American and Israeli political elements who oppose Obama on an ideological basis and who are ready to sacrifice the special relationship between the two countries for the sake of their own political agendas," the consul general in Boston wrote.

"The administration is making an effort to lower the profile of the disagreements, and yet it is [Israel] that is the source which is highlighting the differences."

Tamir believes that "the public spat with the U.S. over the issue of a settlements freeze has alienated a significant number of American Jewish supporters [2]." He sums the current perception of Israel in the Unites States: "Nowadays, there is a sense in the United States that Obama is forced to deal with the obduracy of the governments in Iran, North Korea, and Israel." Wow, that’s some company. I guess the "special relationship" is suddenly looking not so special.


[1] The Israeli diplomat had compared Avigdor Lieberman to Austrian facist Jorg Haider.

[2] Playing the Jesus Card, by M.J. Rosenberg, Voltaire Network; 29 July 2009.