United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday pledged permanent ties with Israel but warned against inflaming tensions with the Palestinians, following a rare public spat with Tel Aviv, The New Arab reported.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step back from an attempt to weaken the judiciary that has sparked massive protests.
Netanyahu, who at least temporarily fended off pressure to threaten a general strike, responded that he would not pressurize a foreigner but took a more conciliatory tone when he participated in a democracy summit called by Biden.
In the highest-level contact since the exchange, Blinken called Foreign Affairs Minister Eli Cohen and “reaffirmed the importance of an enduring bilateral relationship between the US and Israel,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said.
Blinken also discussed Iran, which Netanyahu views as a key threat, and renewed US support for a Palestinian state – an idea rejected by much of Netanyahu’s hard-right government.
The top US diplomat “stressed the importance of refraining from unilateral actions that exacerbate tensions,” Patel said in a statement.
(The New Arab, PC)