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Summoning the ambassador in Washington was an American signal to Netanyahu that his government had crossed the line - voila! news


In less than 3 months, the government reached a crisis with the Biden administration and the difficult inquiry call with Ambassador Herzog. Senior American officials said that the combination of the legal revolution, Smotrich's statements and the law to cancel secession was too much for them. Netanyahu's advisers are already starting to hope for a change in 2024

Bezalel Smotrich in Paris: "There is no such thing with a Palestinian, this is the truth that needs to be heard in the White House" (from Twitter)

The unusual move taken by the US State Department when it summoned Israel's ambassador to Washington, Mike Herzog, for a questioning call was intended to signal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that less than three months after being sworn in, his right-wing government had filled the Saa.

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what are they saying

  • A senior US administration official said, "This is due to the fact that this administration simply went too far - the legal reform, Smotrich's statements and now the law to cancel the North Bank disengagement plan - it was simply too much for us."

More in Walla!

Following the repeal of parts of the Law of Disengagement: Israel's ambassador to the US was summoned for a conversation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

To the full article

why is it important

  • The fact that in such a short time the relations between the Biden administration and the Netanyahu government fell into a serious crisis is only a symptom of the general deterioration of Israel's international standing since the new government took office.

    A large part of the reasons for the criticism in the world and the increase in international pressure stems from the rash decisions and statements of the government ministers.

gone too far?

Netanyahu (Photo: Reuters)


  • Although Netanyahu heads the most right-wing government in Israel's history, when he took office the Biden administration decided to avoid a confrontation with him and hoped that it would be possible to work together on common interests, such as containing Iran and expanding the Abraham Accords.

  • Netanyahu himself tried to calm the world's concerns about his government.

    He emphasized to senior officials of the Biden administration as well as in interviews he gave to the American media that he "will be with his hands on the wheel" and not his extreme coalition partners.

In the news center

  • Senior officials in the Biden administration said they knew a crisis with the new Israeli government would only be a matter of time, but they tried to delay it as much as possible.

    In the first weeks after the establishment of the government, the Americans maintained relative restraint, even in the face of moves such as the announcement of the promotion of planning and construction on an unprecedented scale in the West Bank settlements and training of illegal outposts.

  • The first signs of deterioration began following Finance Minister Smotrich's statement about the erasure of the Palestinian village of Hawara.

    The Americans were shocked by the words that came a day after the political-security summit between Israel and the Palestinians that they convened in Aqaba together with Jordan and Egypt.

  • Smotrich's words led to the fact that, for the first time since the establishment of the government, the White House officially announced that the American government would boycott the Israeli finance minister during his visit to Washington.

    The Americans even discussed for many days the possibility of not approving his visa application.

The administration knew that the crisis was only a matter of time.

Biden (Photo: Reuters)

  • The breaking point came this week.

    The beginning was on Sunday, with Biden's unusual phone call with Netanyahu, during which the American president expressed concern to the prime minister about his plan to weaken the justice system.

  • What followed was the harsh condemnation of the American administration for Smotrich's claim that the Palestinian people are an "invention" and for his appearance next to a map of the "complete Land of Israel".

  • But the straw that broke the camel's back was the approval of the law to cancel the disengagement in the northern West Bank on Monday night.

    The Biden administration saw the move as a violation of the commitment that two Israeli governments, including the current one, gave to the United States.

Behind the Scenes

  • The US State Department strongly attacked the new law during the daily briefing for reporters on Tuesday evening.

    But the US State Department decided to take another unusual diplomatic step.

  • A few hours after that press briefing, the phone rang at the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    The senior official at the US State Department on the other end of the line announced that Ambassador Herzog had been summoned at short notice for an inquiry call with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

  • The last time an Israeli ambassador was summoned to such an unusual conversation was in March 2010, when Israel announced the promotion of construction in its neighbor Tarmat Shlomo in East Jerusalem during the visit of the then Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, to Israel.

  • A source briefed on the details of the conversation between Sherman and Ambassador Herzog said that it was difficult and tense.

    Sherman told Herzog that the new law violates the commitment that Israel gave earlier this week to the United States, Jordan and Egypt at the summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, according to which it would not take steps that could lead to an escalation in the West Bank.

  • At the end of the meeting, the Americans took another unusual step and published a press release about its existence.

    This move is meant to also publicly clarify how angry they are.

The first signs of deterioration.

Smotrich (Photo: Niv Aharonson)

the other side

  • The response published by the Prime Minister's Office to the American audit was an attempt to balance Netanyahu's internal political needs with calming the American pressure.

  • On the one hand, Netanyahu announced that this is a law designed to "stop the humiliation and discrimination of Jews" and on the other hand, he clarified that the government will not approve the re-establishment of settlements in the northern West Bank.

What next

  • Netanyahu has a lot of experience, maybe even too much, in crises with a democratic president.

    One of the things he has repeatedly boasted about during some of the last election campaigns is the fact that he survived the eight years of the Obama administration.

  • Some of Netanyahu's advisers have already started using terminology that recalled those tense days in the last year of Obama's term.

    It is possible that Netanyahu will now try to survive Joe Biden.

    "Let's talk in 2024," said one of the Prime Minister's advisers, alluding to the next US presidential election.

  • news

  • Political-political


  • Benjamin Netanyahu

  • Bezalel Smotrich

  • The legal revolution

  • Joe Biden

Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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