Deputy Foreign Minister: Tie between Israel and U.S. is "not just government-to-government - it is peoples-to-peoples."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/7/2011, 5:44 PM
Speaking at the Herzliyah Cnference Monday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said: "I do not look at the relationship between Israel and the United States as a dependence but more of an interdependence. Although if there was a dependency issue here, I would not want to be dependent on any other country but the United States."
Ayalon said that the bond between Israel and the United States is a "natural bond" based on common interests and values and a common ethos. What makes the relationship between Israel and the United States so unique, he said, is that "it is not just a government-to-government relationship - it is really a peoples-to-peoples relationship." He noted that Israel is the largest buyer of American products and services in the Middle East.
"Interests may vary and change but ideology and ethos do not," he asserted. "If I look into the future I do not see any substitute or alternative to the American presence and influence here in the Middle East and beyond. Anyone who thinks there are going to be any quick changes in the international arena," he determined, "are either wishful thinkers or I am not sure that they read the picture correctly."
Ayalon said that he does not see any challenge to America's leadership position in the world - be it from Europe, China or Russia. America's leadership, he said, derives from "an ideology that we all share."