After Benjamin Netanyahu took an anti-Palestinian statehood stance during his re-election campaign, the White House declared that the United States would reconsider its support for Israel at the United Nations.
Although the Israeli prime minister tried to redeem himself – only after his party won the Knesset elections – by backtracking on his comment, Barack Obama remained unimpressed.
The American president told Bibi over the phone on Thursday that Washington would “reassess its options on U.S.-Israel relations and Middle East diplomacy” at the U.N. – a policy that has protected Israel from international criticism and pressure for decades.
While it would seem the diplomatic ties between the two long-term allies have started to deteriorate – a natural consequence after Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress earlier this month – that might not be the case, at all.
While negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program will go on despite resistance from Israel, the trust issues between Washington and Tehran will persist. For this very reason, U.S. will never jeopardize its ties with Israel – at least not in the near future.
Case in point: it has been made (very) clear that any political tensions with Israel will not affect the military aid or cooperation between the two allies.
"I think the military to military and intelligence cooperation is going to go on no matter who is in that office," California Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat, told CNN, as Israelis cast their votes.
Also, Israel enjoys undying support from the Republican Party so it would be quite difficult for Obama to cause problems for Netanyahu – as was made clear when Bibi snubbed the U.S. commander-in-chief to address Congress.
However, Israel will most definitely try to patch things up with its biggest ally. Here’s why: Earlier in January, much to Netanyahu’s dismay, it was announced that the State of Palestine will join the ICC in April to file their first war crimes case against Israel. In addition, there is a two-state resolution under consideration in the Security Council. Israel, of course, needs the U.S. veto to block both of these moves.
Bibi now needs U.S. support at the U.N. more than ever – and he’s likely to get it.