1. How do you read the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu?
2. I think the relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been Bad since the two of them took Office in early 2009. If anything, it’s gotten worse over time. Most People in the West ascribe this to the personal differences between the two. They see it as a Personality difference. In my opinion, it’s really all about policy difference, or a set of policy differences. There are three big issues which the Israelis and the Americans disagree over. One is the two-State solution to try to resolve the Palestinian issue. Israelis are opposed to the two-State solution and the United States favours it. The second is Iranian Nuclear deal, which the United States obviously favoured, because it put it together, and Israelis disliked it intensely. Then finally, there’s the question of whether US-Iranian policy goals in the future. Israelis do not want rapprochement between Iran and the United States, and of course the Obama Administration is committed to that. So you have three big policy differences, and those policy differences are what are really driving the train here, not so much the Personality differences.
3. So those three-prongs digging in the side of either Leader. Tell us about the actual lobby, AIPAC . Tell us about its influence, tell us about the kind of things they will be getting through Barack Obama via its various sources.
4. The lobby is comprised of handful of different Institutions and Individuals, and AIPAC is just most prominent. What’s going on here is that the lobby is deeply concerned about making sure that the United States and Israel have a very close Relations for foreseeable future. And what’s happened over the past few years, especially over the past year, is considered to be disastrous by most People in the lobby. And what you’re doing is going at great lengths in trying to patch things up. And I believe the principal reason that Benjamin Netanyahu is on his best behaviour with Barack Obama in Washington at this point and Time, he’s been told in uncertain terms by the members of the lobby that what’s happening in terms of the frame of the US-Israel Relations is not Good for Israel over the long-term, and the lobby is finding it increasingly difficult to keep the United States, especially the Democratic Party, sympathetic to Israel.
5. And of course it’s that deal with Iran that is the major sticking point then, isn’t it? The fact that obviously Israel looks at everything that happens in Iran with great suspicion.
6. One could argue that Palestinian issue is at least as important, if not more important. You want to remember both these gentlemen took Office in early 2009. And the issue that consumed them over the first three years is the Palestinian issue. And the United States, especially President Obama, has pushed very hard to get a two-State solution. This is where the Palestinians get a viable State of their own. Prime Minister Netanyahu and almost all of his Allies in his Cabinet are adamantly opposed to the Palestinians getting a viable State. And this has been a real point of contention between the two sides, and is likely to continue to be a real point of contention even after Barack Obama leave the White House.
7. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, author of, co-author of the Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. Thank you, sir, for sharing your analysis with us on France 24. We appreciate your Time.
8. You’re welcome.