‘Breakdown in shared values’: NY Times’ Thomas Friedman says US reevaluating ties with Israel, blames Netanyahu

However, a senior Israeli official said Jerusalem is unaware of Washington’s “inevitable reassessment” of U.S.-Israel relations and that despite disagreements, ties “have tightened for decades and reached an all-time high of security cooperation.”

By World Israel News Staff

In his latest article slamming the Netanyahu government, New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman claimed that a breakdown of the U.S.-Israel relationship is “inevitable.”

“The Biden team sees the far-right Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, engaged in unprecedented radical behavior — under the cloak of judicial “reform” — that is undermining our shared interests with Israel, our shared values and the vitally important shared fiction about the status of the West Bank that has kept peace hopes there just barely alive,” Friedman wrote in the column published Tuesday, titled “The US Reassessment of Netanyahu’s Government Has Begun.”

Is the “shared fiction” in fact Friedman’s claim about the reassessment?

A senior Israeli official who prefered to remain unnamed told The Jerusalem Post the next day that many U.S. administrations have announced “reevaluations” of relations with Israel in a number of different scenarios.

“It is no secret that we have differences of opinion with the American administration regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state, the return to the dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran, and Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s position against the ‘no surprises’ policy regarding Israel’s actions against Iran,” the Israeli official told the Post.

“Despite these periodic ‘re-evaluations’ and disagreements over the years, relations between Israel and the U.S. have tightened for decades and reached an all-time high of security cooperation under the leadership of Netanyahu. Netanyahu will ensure that this trend continues,” he added.

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According to Friedman’s narrative, “There is a sense of shock today among U.S. diplomats who’ve been dealing with Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister and a man of considerable smarts and political talent. They just find it hard to believe that Bibi would allow himself to be led around by the nose by people like Ben-Gvir, would be ready to risk Israel’s relations with America and with global investors and WOULD BE READY TO RISK A CIVIL WAR IN ISRAEL just to stay in power with a group of ciphers and ultranationalists.

“But it is what it is — and it’s ugly. Tens of thousands of Israeli democracy protectors blocked roads and highways and besieged the Tel Aviv airport on Tuesday to make clear to Netanyahu that if he thinks he can snuff out Israel’s democracy just like that, he’s badly mistaken.”

Netanyahu regained the premiership  in a democratically held election in November, prior to which he laid out his vision for judicial reform. An estimated 650,000 Israelis demonstrated in April in Jerusalem, demanding the judicial reform for which they had voted. Meanwhile, it was prominent anti-reform activists who had threatened violence and civil war.

Several members of the Israeli coalition slammed Friedman, who was described by Likud MK Dan Illouz as “one of the most obsessed anti-Netanyahu journalists in the world.”

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Friedman “has been claiming for decades that Netanyahu is destroying [our] relations with the United States, even though Netanyahu’s special relationship with the United States brought the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and [gave us] the Abraham Accords.

“Even if there is currently tension between Washington and Jerusalem, the alliance between the countries is very strong and cannot be questioned,” he concluded.

Likud MK Tali Gottlieb told Ynet that the prime minister is “a phenomenal statesman, he takes all the relevant issues into consideration. The nations of the world only understand us when we are at our strength.

“The U.S. knows that it also needs us, as is clear to anyone who understands the games between great powers.”