By Dana Allin, Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, and Editor of Survival , and Steven Simon, John J. McCloy ’16 Visiting Professor at Amherst College
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are holding what is expected to be their final meeting as heads of government on Wednesday—and there is every reason to expect that this one in New York, at the United Nations General Assembly, will be as fruitless as previous encounters. It is no secret that U.S.-Israel relations have become volatile and tense over the past eight years, with Obama and Netanyahu sparring over Israeli settlements and the all-but-moribund peace process, Iran’s nuclear program, and the uprisings of the Arab Spring.
But the likelihood of a sputtering end to the Barack-and-Bibi relationship does lead one to ask: Which of the two candidates who are running to replace Obama next January—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—might do somewhat better in restoring the U.S.-Israel relationship and pushing for peace?
Trump surrogate and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed at the Republican convention that Netanyahu and other government ministers favored Trump. Our sources say the Israeli security cabinet is divided but on the whole views Clinton as the safer course. There is, in any event, no doubt that the governing Likud Party has become closely aligned with Republicans in recent years, and that Netanyahu was betting on a Mitt Romney victory four years ago. “The notion that they don’t intervene in our politics and we don’t intervene in theirs is pure nonsense,” as Aaron David Miller, a Middle East negotiator for successive U.S. administrations, has put it. “Netanyahu has clearly made his preferences clear on the Republican side.”
Read the full article at Politico.com.