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Refuting Thomas Friedman column, State Department says no US-Israel ‘formal reassessment’

Matthew Miller, a State Department spokesman, addressed a recent New York Times column by Thomas L. Friedman claiming the "U.S. reassessment of Netanyahu’s government has begun."

Miller Miller, U.S. State Department spokesman, answers reporter questions at the department's press briefing on July 12, 2023. Source: YouTube.
Miller Miller, U.S. State Department spokesman, answers reporter questions at the department's press briefing on July 12, 2023. Source: YouTube.

In response to a question at the U.S. State Department press briefing on Wednesday, spokesman Matthew Miller rejected the premise of Thomas L. Friedman’s July 11 New York Times column, “The U.S. Reassessment of Netanyahu’s Government Has Begun.”

“No, there’s been no talk of any kind of formal reassessment,” Miller said. “The United States and Israel share a special bond, and our enduring commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad.”

He said Washington and Jerusalem partner “based on shared democratic values and shared interests,” adding that the United States and Israel have their differences.

“I don’t think you have shared values. You don’t evict people from their homes, and by force,” said Said Arikat, Washington bureau chief of Al-Quds, whose ostensible questions often come at the end of an anti-Israel monologue, asking the State Department spokesman if Foggy Bottom agrees with the attack.

On a different topic, Miller said that Israel does not meet the U.S. Visa Waiver Program requirements. “We support steps that would be beneficial for the U.S. and Israel,” he said. “One such step is working together for Israel to fulfill all the requirements of the Visa Waiver Program. But that’s not where we are today.”

He was also asked if the United States would move its embassy back to Tel Aviv.

“I don’t want to say what we may or may not do in the future, but it’s not a step that we’ve taken now,” Miller said. “We believe the embassy is appropriate where it is today.”

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