Professor Itamar Rabinovich
Professor Itamar Rabinovich Yoni Kempinski

Arutz Sheva spoke on Thursday with Professor Itamar Rabinovich, who served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States between 1993 and 1996, at the Israeli Presidential Conference.

Professor Rabinovich is Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and is currently a visiting professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He formerly served as president of the Tel Aviv University.

Professor Rabinovich, who spoke about the relations between Israel and the United States, said that “there was and there still is tension” between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“We have to take into account that the Obama administration is facing re-election, and that moderates the tension,” he explained, adding, “They also decided to put the Palestinian issue on the shelf on the time being and to focus on the Iranian issue. There’s been a great deal of progress in that issue but there is still uncertainty in the air about the prospect of an Israeli raid.”

Asked whether he believed Israel would attack Iran without letting the U.S. know beforehand, Prof. Rabinovich said, “I hope not.”

Regarding the condemnations by the U.S. whenever Israel announces that it is building in Judea and Samaria, Rabinovich said, “I think the issue is first and foremost an Israeli issue. It’s for Israelis to figure through and make their decisions. Condemnations have their significance but it’s first and foremost among ourselves.”