Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered that the question about not visiting Washington should be put to US President Joe Biden, stressing that this did not prevent close contact and cooperation between the two countries.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Netanyahu said, “There are things on which Tel Aviv and Washington disagree”.
He added, “We’re transparent with each other… Israel and the United States state their positions very clearly, but I didn’t agree to avoid surprises in our decisions, and the reason is that I want to preserve Israel’s freedom of action”.
Netanyahu indicated that when he met US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, he told him that “Israel will tell him sometimes, and won’t tell him other times, what it will or will not do with regard to Iran,” commenting: “I am completely transparent about the fact that we won’t be completely transparent about this matter”.
He also went on to say, “We can contain our differences, but Israel will maintain its freedom to act against Iran, as it sees fit”.
The US president Joe Biden said last March that he didn’t intend to invite Netanyahu to the White House in the near future, and he expressed at the time his concern about the judicial amendments, and the protests that resulted, which spread to the streets of occupied Palestine with millions of settlers, and the violent incidents that took place in the aftermath.
Netanyahu responded at the time to Biden by saying that Israel makes its decisions according to the will of its settlers, and not based on external pressures, including our best friends.
Netanyahu said that it’s better to leave the normalization with Saudi Arabia a secret, and assured that the Israeli-Saudi normalization is best kept secret, whether in terms of looking forward to its future or what this normalization will look like.
The Israeli Prime Minister stressed that it’s not possible to know what the Saudis will present, at the present time, in order to move forward in the issue of normalization with Israel, or what Tel Aviv itself will present, as well as what the US administration will present, demanding that the talk about normalization with Saudi Arabia, in its entirety, be kept secret.
The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said that his country believes that normalization with Israel will benefit everyone, but without peace for the Palestinians, the benefits of normalization will be limited, stressing the need to continue efforts to provide peace for the Palestinians.
For his part, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “We’ll play a key role in deepening and expanding normalization with Israel”.
Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli other officials, including Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, have often talked about reaching an agreement to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.
However, Riyadh has repeatedly confirmed that the normalization of relations with Tel Aviv depends on the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative, which was launched by the late Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in 2002, and provides for the establishment of an internationally recognized Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the return of refugees and the withdrawal of Israel from the Syrian occupied Golan Heights, in exchange for recognition and normalization of relations with Israel.
Similar to Netanyahu’s statements, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said earlier, addressing the Americans, “They must understand that Israel is an independent country and not another star in the US flag”.
The Israeli and US media alike talked about the deteriorating relationship between the two countries in recent times.
In this regard, the Foreign Policy newspaper said, that the relationship between the United States and Israel no longer makes sense.
On different context, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that there are Western weapons appeared recently on Israel’s borders, which is obviously leaked from Ukraine, indicating that this confirms the right Israeli decision not to be drawn into the Ukraine-Russian conflict.
In his interview with the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu said, “We also have concerns that any systems that we transfer to Ukraine will be used against us, as they may fall into the hands of Iran, and this isn’t only a theoretical possibility, and this has already happened with the Western anti-tank weapons that we currently find near our borders”.
He added, “We’ve close military borders with Russia, and our pilots perform sorties alongside Russian pilots in the Syrian skies”.