‘Unbreakable bond’ – US ambassador downplays American interference in Israeli politics

Nides said that the Biden administration has no authority over FBI probe into death of Al Jazeera journalist, says that investigation shouldn’t impact bilateral relations.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said that the bond between the American and Israeli peoples is “unbreakable” during an interview with Arutz Sheva and downplayed widespread reports that the Biden administration is pressuring Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the distribution of ministerial portfolios.

Speaking about the potential for a recently-opened FBI probe into the slaying of journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh, Nides told Arutz Sheva that the move – which could see the American intelligence agency demand to interrogate Israeli soldiers thought to be involved in the incident – should not impact bilateral relations.

Nides also insinuated that the Biden administration wasn’t responsible for the probe, stating that they had no control over what the intelligence agency chooses to pursue.

“The United States and Israel have an unbreakable bond, one hundred percent. But our Justice Department and our FBI work independently from the White House and the State Department,” he told Arutz Sheva.

“Consequently, we are abiding by what they decide, [whether] to launch an investigation or a preliminary investigation. I don’t know the details at this point. But we have no influence over what an independent Justice Department does.”

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The possibility of Religious Zionism MKs Betzalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir being awarded the Defense and Interior Security ministries is thought to have rankled the US, with reports indicating that the Biden administration had directly communicated their concerns about the appointments.

According to recent reports, American officials even said that appointing Smotrich and Ben Gvir to the positions could lead to the U.S. walking back cooperation with Israel on security issues.

But when asked about Smotrich and Ben Gvir, Nides simply said that he had never met them and therefore could not comment about them.

“We’ll see what ministries they have. They have said some things during the campaign, people say a lot of things during a campaign,” he told Arutz Sheva.

“Let’s see what happens, let’s see what ministries they have. If the prime minister wants us to work with people, obviously we’ll work with the people the prime minister asks us to work with.”