Lapid: There's a Crisis in Relations with U.S.

Finance Minister says there is a crisis in Israel-United States relations and it should be fixed.

Ben Ariel ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, said on Saturday that there is a crisis in Israel-United States relations, and that it should be fixed.

"There is a crisis with the United States and it should be treated as a crisis," said Lapid, who spoke in Tel Aviv amid reports that Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was snubbed by the Obama administration and was denied meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry during his trip to Washington last week.

“The relations with the United States are essential and important for Israel and we should do everything in the world to end the crisis,” he added. "If we were not in a crisis, I have no doubt that Israel would have participated in the regional conference in Egypt and there is great significance to this.”

Lapid reiterated that sometimes one has to know how to say thank you, adding that the relationship between Jerusalem and Washington has to be treated with respect. He also spoke of the cooperation between the U.S. and Israel during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, and of the American involvement in producing the Iron Dome system.

Washington’s snubbing of Ya’alon came amid ongoing tensions between the two countries in recent months.

Several months ago Ya’alon was quoted as describing Kerry as "obsessive and messianic."

The U.S. responded with shock, calling the remarks "offensive" and "inappropriate." Ya'alon later apologized for the remarks, stating that he had no intention of "offending" Kerry.

In a more recent incident, Kerry blamed Israel for the rise in global jihadism, insisting that Israel "humiliated" the Palestinian Arabs and that it has led to a "loss of dignity," leading to a recruitment draw toward ISIS. 

In response, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett fired back at Kerry, saying, "Even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, there will always be those who blame the Jews.”

"We don't justify terror; we fight terror," he added. "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict statement encourages ISIS, and is a boost to terrorism worldwide."