Administration

Blinken reiterates US support for Israel despite right-wing government  

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the J Street National Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday affirmed U.S. support for Israel despite policy differences between the Biden administration and the government of incoming Israeli Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu. 

The U.S.-Israel “partnership – and all that it’s produced for the people of our nations and the world – has always been underwritten by the United States ironclad commitment to Israel’s security, a commitment that has never been stronger than it is today,” Blinken said at a conference hosted by J Street, a left-leaning pro-Israel group. 

The secretary of State reaffirmed the Biden administration’s commitment to a close partnership with Israel, while also underscoring its continued desire for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine and for the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal, matters on which Netanyahu stands opposed.  

“We are committed to preserving a horizon of hope. That means holding firm to the values that have anchored the friendship between the United States and Israel across countless transitions and governments in both of our countries,” Blinken said.

“We expect the new Israeli government to work with us to advance our shared values.”

Netanyahu is returning to power as prime minister for the third time after pulling together a far-right governing coalition, which could complicate the country’s close relationship with the U.S. 

Two U.S. officials told Axios last month that the Biden administration could boycott right-wing and Jewish supremacists who enter the new Israeli government. 

But Blinken on Sunday said the White House will work with Israel’s policies rather than “personalities.” 

“We will gauge the government by the policies it pursues rather than individual personalities. We will hold it to the mutual standards we have established in our relationship over the past seven decades,” Blinken said. 

Netanyahu, who was a close ally of former President Trump when they were both in power, is striking a diplomatic tone when it comes to U.S. politics.

Netanyahu would not be drawn when asked Sunday if he would like to see Trump return to the White House.

“Oh, God. I’ve had enough of my politics. I’ve just … gone through four of our elections,” Netanyahu told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“You want me to get into your elections? Keep me out of it.” 

Tags Antony Blinken Benjamin Netanyahu Biden Joe Biden
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