The Obama Administration and Israel don’t see eye to eye on much these days, and the latest source of tension is the Ukraine regime change and the subsequent dramatic anti-Russia swing in US policy.
The US assumed Israel would be on board with the shift, and has expressed anger at Israel’s refusal to support a UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia over the Crimea.
Israeli officials, for once, are arguing that the situation is none of their business, with Soviet-born Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman staking out a policy of neutrality on the matter. Israel’s Defense Ministry seems to be backing the stance too, arguing they don’t need to automatically endorse the US position.
US officials disagree vehemently, and were reportedly “incensed” that Lieberman suggested relations with both the US and Russia were important to retain, since the US gives Israel billions annually, and Russia doesn’t.
In many ways the split has also been reflected in media coverage of the situation in Ukraine, as US media has dutifully mirrored government claims of Russian aggression, and claimed anti-semitism among the neo-Nazi Right Sector in the Ukraine as a “myth.” Israel’s media, by contrast, has reported extensively on attacks against Ukrainian synagogues, and the growing emigration of Jews from the nation.