Israeli President Peres: ‘We Are Fortunate that America Was, and Remains, Our Friend and Ally’
Israeli President Shimon Peres attempted to throw water on the fire that is the tense relationship between Israel and Washington in recent weeks.
Speaking at the David Ben Gurion Prize award ceremony Thursday night, Peres said Israel “must not underestimate the importance of [the] friendship” with the United States.
“The support of the United States for Israel is unique. We are fortunate that America was, and remains, our friend and ally,” he said.
“There has not been an Israeli request which the Obama administration has not responded to, including casting a veto over the UN Security Council resolution on settlements, despite the fact that the US does not consider the settlements legal. Nearly all our security requests were responded to positively,” he said.
The two countries have been at odds over how best to handle Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. was reportedly set to agree to a deal that would have allowed Iran to continue to enrich uranium, a deal Israel objected to. Furthermore, while Israel has been a champion of further sanctions on the Islamic Republic, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has publicly lobbied Congress to withhold sanctions, saying that it would be show of bad faith while negotiations with Iran are still ongoing.
President Peres’s ameliorative comments were a departure from the recent rhetoric being directed at each country by the other over the issue.
“There can be disagreements, but they must be conducted with a view to the true depth of the situation. If we have disagreements we should voice them but we should remember that the Americans also know a thing or two, we are not the only ones,” Israel’s president said.