March 15, 2010 – New York – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) today urged the Obama Administration to call a halt to its public denunciations of the Israeli government and return to the use of language befitting the close relations between Washington and Jerusalem.
“Israel made a serious mistake last week in announcing a controversial Jerusalem housing project during Vice President Biden’s visit,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “It should not have happened. We fully understand the White House dismay, but Vice President Biden accepted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apology. The shared values that bind the U.S. and Israel, as the Vice President stated during this visit, should be much stronger than any policy dispute.”
AJC today is deeply concerned that the sustained harsh criticism of Israel by senior Administration officials is unprecedented and could leave the impression of a cooling of our nation’s relationship with Israel, one of America’s closest and most reliable allies. In his visit to Israel last week, the Vice President laudably sought to emphasize the enduring strength of the U.S.-Israel alliance and the common interests of the two democracies.
“Ideally, differences with allies, which do occur even between the closest of friends, should be discussed and resolved in private,” said Harris. “We urge the White House to reconsider its latest, repeated verbal assaults on the Israeli government. It is not beneficial to pummel Israel with language that has rarely been used in U.S. foreign policy. And it may, however unintentionally, send the wrong signal to Israel’s adversaries in the region, further complicating an already complex landscape.”