U.S. officials praise Israeli democracy, promise to work with new government

(JNS.org) Reacting to news of Israel’s election results, American officials praised Israeli democracy and promised to work with the new government, the Jerusalem Post reported.  In a tweet, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro congratulated Israelis on a successful election day. 

“Mazal tov to the Israeli people on their just completed elections! Always inspiring to see democracy in action!” he wrote.

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said “Israel demonstrated once again that it is the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East."

Click photo to download. Caption: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney speaks to reporters. Credit: White House Press Office via Wikimedia CommonsHowever, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was a bit more cautious in his reaction, saying the Obama administration would wait until a new coalition is formed before tackling some critical issues. "The United States remains committed, as it has been for a long time, to working with the parties to press forward the goal of a two-state solution. That has not changed, and it will not change," Carney said.

The White House’s tepid reaction is not surprising. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have clashed over several critical issues including the peace process and Iran. Just last week, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg reported that Obama said that “Israel doesn’t know what its best interests are,” in an apparent jab towards Netanyahu over continued Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

However, despite their personal clashes, the U.S. and Israel have remained committed allies over their tenures. The U.S. stood with Israel at the UN against the Palestinian vote, increased military aid to support the Iron Dome system and have cooperated in covert activities against Iran. 

Posted on January 23, 2013 .