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Netanyahu Criticized for Seeking Defense Agreement with US

Netanyahu Criticized for Seeking Defense Agreement with US

Saturday, 7 September, 2019 - 07:45
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Downing Street in London, Britain, September 5, 2019. Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS
Tel Aviv - Nazir Magally
Several former Israeli generals, intelligence officers, and politicians have slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his attempt to conclude an agreement on a defense treaty with the United States, which would be seen as a push from President Donald Trump for him to win the upcoming elections.
 
The officials criticized Netanyahu for “harnessing strategic security issues for his electoral interests,” noting that his surprise visit to London was a “failed play.”

According to the critics, he imposed himself on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for talks that lasted only 30 minutes, during which the latter sat on the side of the chair as if he suggested that he wanted to end the meeting as soon as possible; then, he forced a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to discuss the defense treaty and the Iranian crisis.
 
“What is meant by joint defense? Does Netanyahu want to send our children to war in Afghanistan with the US military ally?” the Israeli officials asked.
 
In the past nine months and since the 20th Knesset (parliament) was dissolved, more politicians have broken laws in their campaigns and used security issues for partisan purposes, Haaretz said.
 
Sources in Tel Aviv have confirmed that Netanyahu was vigorously seeking a “gift” from Trump to help him win the September 17 parliamentary elections, and he insisted on a “strong security gift.”

The sources stressed that the Israeli premier discussed these issues with Esper in London.
 
Commenting on the matter, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that such an alliance would be limited to specific issues, such as the Iranian nuclear threat and Iran’s long-range missiles.
 
While he underlined Israel’s defensive capabilities, Katz noted that such an agreement would prevent the government from having to spend enormous resources on permanent and long-term strategies against these threats.

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