An 'unprecedented' crisis
Ambassadors Warn US-Israel Ties Are on the Brink of Collapse

Israeli ambassadors and US source reveal Netanyahu-Obama 'loathing' has led 'gloves to not only be removed - but thrown in the trash.'

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Ari Yashar,

Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu
Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

A media storm over a "crisis in US-Israel relations" was generated following a Tuesday report that a senior official in US President Barack Obama's administration called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "chickens**t" - and according to former Israeli ambassadors to America, its just the latest in an unprecedented crisis in relations.

Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, who served as ambassador between 1992 and 1996, told Walla! Wednesday relations have never been this bad before, commenting "the two sides haven't just taken off the gloves - they threw them in the trash."

"Crises between us and the United States in the past mostly stemmed from concentrated pressure on a certain issue: (Dwight) Eisenhower forced (David) Ben-Gurion to retreat from Sinai in 1956, (Gerald) Ford pressed (Yitzhak) Rabin on the issue of Egypt in 1975," recounted Rabinovich.

"However, today there is a combination of a string of disagreements, practically on every meaningful issue in the region, and very awful personal relations between the leaders," he added, noting "it's unprecedented."

While he criticized the Obama administration for its numerous failures in foreign policy, Rabinovich also took Netanyahu to task for not succeeding in maintaining working relations with the American government.

The collapse in ties has great implications according to Rabinovich, who said about Operation Protective Edge "we saw during the last war in Gaza two ostensibly clerical decisions that caused damage to Israel."

Those decisions included "the cancellation of flights to Ben Gurion International Airport and the delay of a Hellfire missile transfer. The 'clerics' in Washington know to read the direction of the wind and make manipulations according to the administration's policy."

That damage has only continued according to Rabinovich, who added "when the defense minister (Moshe Ya'alon) arrives in Washington and the administration leaks that they aren't ready to meet with him, in the end that influences."

"This personal loathing is unprecedented"

Joining Rabinovich's assessment was Danny Ayalon, ambassador to America from 2002 to 2006, who likewise told Walla! the diplomatic schism is unprecedented.

"In terms of the personal relations between the prime minister and the president, which is supremely important, there has never been something like this," stated Ayalon.

"What we are seeing between Netanyahu and Obama - personal loathing, scorn, ugly leaks of one against the other - these are things we never knew in the past," added the former ambassador.

Ayalon noted that the situation is odd given that intelligence and security cooperation continues between the two countries, "but between the leaders there's a complete lack of confidence. That's a problem because there are times when the confidence between leaders is the most important thing."

An unnamed senior minister in Jerusalem told the Hebrew-language paper "there have been very serious disagreements throughout the years, but there was never the kind of disgust between the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel as there is today between Netanyahu and Obama."

"Obama has abandoned allies for Iran"

Michael Doran, who served as a Middle East expert on the National Security Council under former US President George W. Bush, also spoke to Walla! about the recent events.

"The crisis in Israel-United States relations must been seen in a wider context," said Doran. "Obama lost the confidence of all the traditional American allies in the region."

"Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey: all of them are experiencing historic difficulties in their relations with Washington. Why? Because Obama abandoned the defense of the traditional system of alliances in favor of relations with an enemy in defending Iran," said Doran.

The regional expert continued: "if the Obama administration had obligated itself to stopping the Iranian nuclear program, it would have used its allies in the same way (Iranian President Hassan) Rouhani is using extremists in Tehran. Obama could have told the Iranians 'listen, there's a crazy guy in Jerusalem who I have no control over, so you should reach a deal, and quickly.'"

"Instead of that, he is doing the complete opposite. He is ignoring Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Iranians read his weakness and are manipulating it," warned Doran.

The assessment comes a day after American and Arab officials revealed to the Wall Street Journal that Obama's administration is cozying up to Iran and its terror proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, through such means as secretive communication channels and providing intelligence information.

As ties with America have continued to go southward, Israel has constantly been looking eastward and building new alliances, seen in strong military ties with India, and budding relations with Japan and China.