My story on Michael Oren, the new Israeli ambassador to Washington, and his efforts to stamp out the perception that U.S.-Israel tensions are up.
It’s clearly a concern that reaches beyond International Drive. Here’s Danny Ayalon, one of Oren’s predecessors and now the deputy foreign minister, in a new YouTube video, seeking to dispel talk of a breach:
Despite recent media reports of a worsening relationship between Israel and the United States, it is clear that these ties are as strong as ever. The bonds between the United States and Israel are far too great for any minor differences to impede.
These two great nations, Israel and the United States, have an immense sense of shared values, ethos and interests. When President Obama spoke in Cairo, he spoke directly to the Arab and Muslim world and stated clearly and succinctly that America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties.
In these particularly unstable times, Americans can look with certainty to Israel as a true and enduring ally. The interests we share certainly include the yearning for a full peace in our region and a better future for all of our neighbors. We share a commonality of vision for a new peaceful reality that will be good for both Israelis and Arabs.
Like all good friends, there are sometimes small disputes. However, just like good friends, we will reach an understanding and reconcile two differences of opinions. To that, I have little doubt.
The Obama administration has continued to assist Israel in maintaining a qualitative edge in the region. The Arrow 3 project, anti-ballistic missiles developed and deployed by Israel, continues to be jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States.
It’s worth recalling that back during the Democratic presidential primaries, Ayalon wrote a high-profile piece in The Jerusalem Post arguing that Barack Obama’s candidacy should be met with "with some degree of concern." Among other things, Ayalon falsely asserted that Obama had not suggested specific measures to maintain Israel’s qualitative military edge. When informed of his apparent mistake, he stood by the claim.
Either way, Ayalon now says: "The Obama administration has continued to assist Israel in maintaining a qualitative edge in the region. The Arrow 3 project, anti-ballistic missiles developed and deployed by Israel, continues to be jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States."