Thursday, February 26, 2015

Talk Toughens as U.S.-Israel Relations Fray

By PETER BAKER and JODI RUDOREN, NYT
FEB. 25, 2015

WASHINGTON — When President Obama’s national security adviser sat down with her Israeli counterpart at the White House last week, she upbraided him over leaks in Jerusalem that the Americans interpreted as an attempt to undermine nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The meeting, shielded from the public but fraught with tension, brought home the depth of the frustration between Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is a mutual enmity that has only grown in recent days as Mr. Netanyahu prepares to address the Republican-led Congress next week about the dangers of a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

What started out last month as a dispute over a speech has consumed the two sides ever since, threatening long-term consequences and possibly fracturing America’s tradition of bipartisan support for Israel. The president’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, evidently was not mollified by the meeting with Yossi Cohen, her Israeli counterpart, since she said in a television interview on Tuesday night that Mr. Netanyahu’s actions were “destructive” because they were injecting partisanship into the relationship.

(More here.)

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