Israeli, American officials deny NY Times op-ed that Biden admin seeking ‘reassessment’ of ties with Israel

Thomas Friedman accused Netanyahu of a “steady destruction” of a the “shared fiction” between the two allies that “one day there could be a two-state solution.”

By World Israel News Staff

High-ranking Israeli and U.S. officials on Wednesday rebuffed a claim made a day earlier by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that Washington was “reassessing” its ties with Israel.

In the column, Friedman accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a “steady destruction” of a “shared fiction” between the two allies that “Israel’s occupation of the West Bank was only temporary and one day there could be a two-state solution.”

The result, posited Friedman, would put Biden in the inevitable position of downgrading ties. A trip to Washington next week by Israeli President Herzog would be an opportunity for Biden to convey, “with sorrow” that “when the interests and values of a U.S. government and an Israeli government diverge this much, a reassessment of the relationship is inevitable.”

Friedman added that such a reconsideration, while crucial for preventing Israel from “going off the rails,” would mainly impact the U.S.’s stance towards Israel in global platforms like the United Nations and would not disrupt the existing intelligence or military collaboration.

Biden, according to Friedman, has garnered significant support for this possible shift, not only from the majority of Americans but also from most American Jews and even a large proportion of Israeli Jews.

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However, a senior Israeli diplomatic official, speaking on condition of anonymity, refuted any knowledge of an impending reassessment of the U.S.’s policy towards Israel.

“We are not aware of any decision about ‘reassessment’ by the US government,” the official said.

The official asserted that even if such a reassessment were to take place, it would not be an unprecedented move. They cited instances from past U.S. administrations, including those of Ford, Reagan, and both Bush Sr. and Bush Jr., that had made similar reassessments during their tenure.

“It’s no secret that we have disagreements with the American administration regarding the creation of a Palestinian state, returning to the dangerous Iran nuclear deal, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stance against the American ‘no surprises’ policy regarding Israeli action against Iran,” the official added.

A U.S. National Security Council spokesperson likewise denied Friedman’s claims, saying “There is no talk of some kind of formal reassessment.”