Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Bibi Blows Up the Special Relationship

| March 2, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington has exposed the dysfunction at the core of the U.S.-Israel alliance. That isn't such a bad thing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be the only person who was looking forward to his visit to the United States this week. House Speaker John Boehner, who cooked up the invitation for Netanyahu to address Congress with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, has now been exposed as a narrow-minded partisan who put his party's fortunes ahead of broader diplomatic interests. The White House is supremely ticked off, with National Security Advisor Susan Rice terming the visit "destructive" to the U.S.-Israel relationship and Secretary of State John Kerry pointedly reminding people of how bad Netanyahu's past advice has been. A chorus of reliably "pro-Israel" pundits — including some prominent members of Israel's national security establishment — appear to share Rice's view (if not her choice of words) and have denounced Netanyahu's refusal to reschedule in no uncertain terms.

Even the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the "leviathan among lobbies," seems to be unhappy about the whole business....

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For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Walt, Stephen M..“Bibi Blows Up the Special Relationship.” Foreign Policy, March 2, 2015.

The Author

Stephen Walt