Netanyahu Cancels Visit to D.C., Straining U.S.-Israeli Relations

Netanyahu Cancels Visit to D.C., Straining U.S.-Israeli Relations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cancelled a trip to Washington, D.C., citing the desire not to be entangled with U.S. election politics. reports that the White House claims the visit was cancelled without their knowledge and that they learned of the cancellation through Israeli media.

However, Zeev Elkin, an Israeli cabinet minister, denied the allegation, saying that Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer had given the Obama administration advance notice that the trip might be cancelled.

Netanyahu’s cancelled trip to the U.S. adds to frequently strained relations between the conservative Israeli Prime Minister and Democratic U.S. President. U.S.-Israeli relations became even more strained after the Iran Nuclear Deal, a deal the U.S. signed with Israel’s enemy, Iran.

Netanyahu’s visit to the U.S. was supposed to occur directly before a visit by Vice President Joe Biden to Israel. Biden will still be visiting Israel, arriving there on Tuesday evening.

Netanyahu had hailed Biden’s visit as evidence of “the strong relations” between the U.S. and Israel, but soon after, the miscommunication over Netanyahu’s cancelled visit seemed to again suggest strained relations between the two countries.

Publication date: March 8, 2016