Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Big Squeeze: Panetta In Israel

U.S.-Israeli Relations

Ehud Barak and Leon Panetta
Ehud Barak and Leon Panetta display a close personal relationship. Panetta said, "Our countries have a strong bond, not only of friendship but of security. We will do everything we can to defend both of our countries."
Photo Credit: Ariel Harmoni, GPO
Source: JPost
The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, arrived in Israel, from Egypt, on Tuesday night, essentially to ensure that the close ties between the two nations remain so. This follows on the heels of Mitt Romney's successful trip to Israel a few days ago.

In an article in The Jerusalem Post, Yaacov Katz writes:
"There are disagreements but this does not affect the profound depth of our ties and we plan to keep it that way," Barak said.
Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised Panetta for his role in enhancing security ties between the US and Israel as the two met in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
"Ties between Israel an the US in the security realm are as strong and close as they have ever been, and without a doubt, a substantial part of the credit belongs to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta," Barak said.
 Calling Panetta "not just a personal friend for many years, but a friend of Israel," Barak went on to say that "The US and Israel see reality in much the same way, and there is much to discuss, as the regional problems are serious and numerous."
This is indeed true, and it might also be true that Panetta and his Israeli counterpart, Barak, hold good feelings and respect toward each other. Yet, I seriously doubt that the current American Administration, notably Panetta's boss, sees "reality in much the same way," as Barak put it.

Sometimes, you can find out more by what was not said. "Ahead of Panetta's arrival in Israel on Tuesday night, Israeli officials said they expected him to press Israel to give more time for sanctions before launching a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities," the JPost writes. The Big Squeeze is on.

You can read the rest of the article at [JPost]

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