U.S. officials praise Israel democracy
(JNS.org) – Reacting to news of Israel’s election results, American officials praised Israeli democracy and promised to work with the new government, the Jerusalem Post reported. In a tweet, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro congratulated Israelis on a successful election day. “Mazal tov to the Israeli people on their just completed elections! Always inspiring to see democracy in action!” he wrote.
While the U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said “Israel demonstrated once again that it is the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East.”
However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was a bit more cautious in his reaction, saying the Obama administration would wait until a new coalition is formed before tackling some critical issues. “The United States remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press forward the goal of a two-state solution. That has not changed, and it will not change,” Carney said.
Given President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous clashes over policies relating to peace and Iran, the White House’s tepid reaction is not surprising.
Last week, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reported Obama had said that “Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are,” in an apparent jab towards Netanyahu over continued Jewish construction in disputed West Bank lands.
However, despite their personal clashes, the U.S. and Israel have remained committed allies over their tenures. The U.S. stood with Israel at the UN against the Palestinian vote, increased military aid to support the Iron Dome system and has cooperated in covert activities against Iran.