Arutz Sheva notes that the Obama administration has come to blame Netanyahu for authorizing Israeli leaks of recent details about the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. This alleged betrayal of the traditionally close relationship between the two governments came within a month of Netanyahu refusing Obama’s request that the Israeli government hold its tongue and wait for several more months for the US to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran.
The Times of Israel reports that the Obama administration’s response has reportedly been to start withholding information from Israel, prompting the Israeli Prime Minister to publicly wonder about the value of such secrecy. “If there is anyone who thinks that this is a good agreement, why should it be hidden?” the Netanyahu asked, as well as asserting that Israel has a particular right to know what is going on in diplomatic talks because it stands to be directly affected by changes in Iran’s capabilities or global status.
The White House and US State Department have denied the reports of a change in the flow of information, but Israeli media has cited sources on both sides of the growing divide to say that there has been such a change.
In keeping with this perception, one might also say that there has been an effort on the part of the Obama administration to restrict the flow of opinion and information from Israel to the US, in the sense that the US president has expressed some opposition to Netanyahu’s anticipated speech to Congress on March 3, on the ground that the invitation extended to him by the US Congress circumvented usual international protocol.
But Netanyahu made it clear in a speech on Monday that he would still be delivering that speech and urging a much harsher approach to dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He referred to that speech as a personal obligation and declared that he would do anything in his power to “prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel.”
US House Speaker John Boehner called upon Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress in part because much of that Congress, particularly the Republican Party, is in agreement with Israel about its skepticism of Iran’s intentions and the Obama administration’s strategy.