Even the most casual observer of American- Israeli relations can tell you that
this week’s events will serve as a pivotal moment in our 63-year-old
Having personally witnessed Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu interact with the current American president, I would agree there is
no overestimating the importance of the next several days – but perhaps for
different reasons than most would assume.
There can be no disputing that
we have two national leaders with very different visions for how to
peace in our region. On the one hand is a prime minister motivated to
resolution to a conflict that has personally cost him, the way it has
too many Israelis. And on the American side, we have a president who
seem to recognize that both sides must act responsibly to achieve real
Nevertheless, all Israelis should realize one basic truth – when we
and clearly articulate our vital security needs and interests, the
people have proven time and again that they will be here at our
Netanyahu has proven over the past 15 months his willingness to
take extraordinary steps to return the Palestinians to the negotiating
Beginning with his address at Bar-Ilan University and repeated numerous
since, he has established the government’s desire to see the
implementation of a
two-state solution. In recent months, we have witnessed unprecedented
actions – the removal of hundreds of roadblocks intended to ease
movement, numerous joint Israeli-Palestinian economic initiatives and
of all new construction in Judea and Samaria.
These steps were designed
to display our sense of goodwill and commitment toward forward
While the White House has publicly endorsed all these
initiatives, the US administration has demonstrated a lack of clear
it comes to how best to treat the conflict. All the moves that the prime
minister willingly implemented as trust-building gestures have only
increasing calls for additional concessions.
To date, the US
administration has largely given the Palestinian leadership a free pass,
conveying that the onus of real responsibility falls on Israel
DESPITE ANY differing viewpoints even on these most fundamental of
issues, perhaps the one constant which has always defined the
relationship has been that of shared values. America’s history is a saga
protecting the rights of its citizens against all threats while
right to lives defined by freedom and the pursuit of personal
American people appreciate that Israel shares those same values in ways
very unique in today’s world.
Protecting these common ideals has taken on
greater meaning in recent years.
Today, more than ever, both our nations
must substantially and resolutely invest in fighting the increasing wave
terror directly intended on destroying our ways of life and our very
This common battle against Islamic fundamentalism has further
strengthened our common bond.
The enduring lesson of this special
relationship is that when Israel stands strong in demanding real
our citizens, the US, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, has
willing and ready to support us.
Recent months have proven this as fact
in the case of Israel’s unrelenting calls for stricter sanctions against
Teheran’s nuclear program represents a clear existential danger to the
Israel. Due to the actions of the Netanyahu government in keeping Iran
forefront of its international efforts, stricter sanctions have now been
both at the UN and separately in the US.
As the prime minister prepares
for his meeting with President Barack Obama, the message must be made
The relationship between the US and Israel remains strong; but
determining our national destiny first and foremost requires our
the principles which have always allowed us to prosper.
If we are strong,
our friends will recognize that strength, salute that resolve and give
necessary tools to defend and preserve our nation and its citizens.
writer served as director of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s bureau
and is a
public affairs and international business strategic consultant.