Livni, Lapid Chide Netanyahu over Spat with US

Justice Minister wants to know why US is upset, Finance Minister says Israel should be more thankful.

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Gil Ronen,

Tzipi Livni
Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

Following reports that the American administration so upset with Israel that it has delayed a shipment of weapons to the embattled state, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) chided Binyamin Netanyahu for allowing the relationship with Israel's ally to deteriorate.

"The relations with the United States are a strategic asset. Harming these relations could cause a deterioration that will wind up harming Israel's security,” Livni told Channel 2 News Online, in what sounded like criticism of the way Netanyahu and his bureau have handled the relationship with the White House.

"Both before the military operation and after it, some of the ministers and MKs spoke in a scandalous way about the US,” she opined. “We need to understand that the relationship with the US is the basis for Israel's security needs. Whoever reacts and says 'we rely on ourselves alone' does not know what he is talking about, and does not understand Israel's security needs.”

Livni said that she heard about the crisis with the US from the news media and that she will demand explanations in the Security Cabinet meeting Thursday evening. “I want to hear all of the reports and updates and after I receive explanations I will know what to recommend,” she explained. “One can argue with a strategic partner like the US, as long as the argument is to the point and respectable, and as long as one is talking about matters of substance and not going on to places one should not be in.”

Lapid said that the tension with the US is “a worrisome trend that we must not allow to continue. Relations with the US are a strategic asset that must not be harmed. Just last week, I spoke to Secretary of State Kerry, and to Senator Harry Reid, Head of the Democratic majority, to thank them for the emergency assistance they gave Israel for Iron Dome. Sometimes, one needs to know how to simply say thank you, and make sure that the relations with the US continue to be this strong friendship, which is so important to the state of Israel.”