Two former US ambassadors to Israel called on the US Administration to cut military assistance to Tel Aviv, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz reported on Saturday.
Speaking to the New York Times, former ambassadors Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk both expressed the necessity for the United States to change its approach and set conditions for its military aid to Israel, the Israeli paper said.
“Israel’s economy is strong enough that it does not need aid; security assistance distorts Israel’s economy and creates a false sense of dependency,” Kurtzer was quoted as saying.
Kurtzer went as far as saying that the US is seen as “enablers of Israel’s occupation”.
“Aid provides the US with no leverage or influence over Israeli decisions to use force; because we sit by quietly while Israel pursues policies we oppose, we are seen as ‘enablers’ of Israel’s occupation”.
For his part, Indyk, who also served as US special Middle East peace envoy, said that “it would be healthier for the relationship if Israel stood on its own two feet.”
The remarks come amid tensions between the United States and the far-right Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On July 17, Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid said that, due to the current Israeli government, “the United States is no longer our closest ally.”
The comments by the two former ambassadors follow Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s address to the US Congress, on July 19.
In his talk, the Israeli president claimed that the “sacred bond” and “true friendship” between the two countries are very strong and unbreakable.
The comments by the two former US ambassadors, however, suggest that something is changing in the US perception of Israel.
(The Palestine Chronicle)