Former Ambassador and former Knesset member Dr. Michael Oren, spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva, about the latest development in US-Israel relations, mainly the apparent decision to impose sanctions on the Netzach Yehuda Battalion.

“It’s true. If there is an intention to sanction any unit of the Israeli Army, it's totally unacceptable. It's a violation of our sovereignty. It's a slap in the face of the IDF. It's also a very dangerous precedent because what begins with Netzach Yehuda, could end tomorrow with Golani or the Paratroopers, where young men and women who fought in our army, could go visit a foreign capital and find themselves being arrested at an airport. It's even dangerous for the US because what begins with the IDF could end with the American armed forces, with Marines being arrested at airports and when America goes to protest, other countries might say, ‘Well, you did this to Israel.’ So, it's a very, very bad precedent and it's also a blow to Israeli society, where we are trying to resolve the issue of Haredi service in the military and now comes along this action, which will say basically to the Haredi community, ‘You serve in the IDF and you end up getting sanctioned,’” says Dr. Oren.

Oren presumes that the level of tension between Israel and the US “is a long time coming, building up of animosity and charges certainly by the Democratic administration against the government of Israel, particularly this government of Israel. We have to now go and explain that those members of this unit who are accused of mistreating Palestinians, have actually been indicted. The unit has served on different fronts, not just in Judea and Samaria, but also on the southern front. So, again it's a violation of our sovereignty.

“On the other hand,” Oren stresses, “We have to say 'thank you, thank you, thank you' to the US for the great security cooperation that was shown last Saturday night, in bringing down 350 projectiles from Iran. We have to show thanks to the US, certainly for the Senate, which is about to approve an unprecedently large aid bill for Israel, $226 billion, all together Israel and Gaza probably about 17 billion of that money going to Israel we have to say thank you. We have to say thank you on the one hand but fight against this horrendous notion of sanctioning Netzach Yehuda. Israel has found itself in similar situations in the past.”

Michael Oren is adamant that “the answer is that Israel has to be tough with the US. You have to say this is completely unacceptable and we will not cooperate with this in any remote way. We will protect our soldiers from sanctions. On the other hand, we want to take advantage of this moment, where we can portray the war against Hamas, and the war against Hezbollah as part of one big war against Iran. We could send our delegations to Washington immediately in an attempt to get the US on board and form a regional alliance against Iran. It would include an Israeli-Saudi Arabian peace but also put teeth into that alliance, not just a passive defensive alliance, but an offensive alliance. There’s a tremendous opportunity here, which we have to take advantage of, but we cannot be passive.”

The former ambassador believes that this is, “Immediately connected to elections in the US. I think there is a history of relations between the Democrats and Netanyahu. The Democrats in this government, the Democrats in what they call ‘the settler movement’ and it's on the background of rising violence on American campuses. We're all following what's happening on the Columbia University campuses and demonstrations, not only in favor of the Palestinians but actually in favor of Iran. The elections come down to three or five swing States and some of these states have young populations, progressive populations, Arab and Muslim American populations, and that's a source of worry for the Democratic administration, which is at best tied with the Republicans and in most polls is falling behind.”