Yair Lapid, former Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the Yesh Atid opposition party, said Sunday that the U.S. is no longer Israel’s “closest ally,” according to the Times of Israel.
Tensions between the two nations have been at an all-time high after the White House’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government over its treatment of Palestinians and attempts at judicial reform. On Sunday, Lapid, who was the government’s prime minister from July 2022 to December 2022, spoke during a meeting at the Israeli Knesset and announced that he believed that the United States is ‘no longer our closest ally,” according to the Times.
Lapid did not go into detail about what has caused the rift, but also accused current government leadership in Israel of creating a “crisis.”
“The Israeli government is leading us into this crisis, making the biggest and most dramatic changes to the regime in our history, without holding a single discussion — not even one — about the economic, security, social and political consequences of the move,” Lapid said, according to the Times.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Israel in February against continuing to create settlements in the West Bank, saying that the U.S. would oppose any measures that put a two-state solution at risk. In a July 7 interview, Biden called the current Israeli government the “most extreme” that he has seen in his lifetime, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.
In March, a report revealed that the Biden administration had funded the Movement for Quality Government (MQG) group, which describes itself as an “independent, non-partisan, grassroots, non-profit organization,” that has been working overtime to oust Netanyahu. The State Department gave the organization $38,000 in 2022 despite the group’s blatant anti-Netanyahu stance.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog is set to visit the U.S. Tuesday and meet with President Biden in an attempt to reinforce the two nation’s ties to one another, but the White House has declined on several occasions to invite Netanyahu as well, according to the Hill. The President spoke with the Prime Minister Monday over the phone to discuss rising tensions in the West Bank and the need to “maintain the viability of a two-state solution,” according to a White House press release.
“President Biden reiterated his unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the ongoing cooperation between our national security teams, including to counter all threats posed by Iran,” the press release reads. “Both leaders agreed to stay in regular contact over the coming weeks.”
The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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