The once-unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States is showing alarming signs of strain as Israel’s defensive war in Gaza enters its ninth month.

Speaking at Reichman University on Wednesday, US Ambassador to Israel Jack Lew claimed that bipartisan support for Israel is waning over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to budge on his primary goal of eliminating Hamas.

“For the entirety of Israel’s history, there’s been bipartisan support for the Jewish state, and it is important that this backing continues for the next 76 years,” Lew said. “There are risks on both the right and the left of erosion on the margins that only makes it more important for there to be bipartisan support.”

While pragmatic support for Israel, such as congressional approval of arms sales, has so far remained intact, Lew warned such support will be unsustainable in the future.

“The question is, when you have generational change, will that be true 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now,” he said. “You don’t need either party to be 100 percent if you’ve got most of both. And that’s where the support for Israel is. It’s probably close to 70 percent.”

Lew also pointed out that Netanyahu has not done enough to shore up Israel’s image to counter the antisemitic narratives being peddled by mainstream news outlets.

“The images in America are brutal. There are enemies of Israel that are actively telling the story in a very negative way,” Lew said.

Last week, former IDF spokesperson Peter Lerner issued a similar sentiment, accusing Israeli leadership of sabotaging its public relations after October 7. After 750 international interviews, Lerner said he felt abandoned by the government who did not provide a clear PR strategy after initial sympathy for Israel started to wane.

“I, as a spokesperson, started fielding questions on the subject already on October 10: ‘What are your goals, what are you trying to achieve, what are your plans for the future?’” Lerner told Haaretz.

“Very soon I understood that I didn’t have the answers to these questions. Not because they haven’t decided, but because they’re just never going to decide.”

    Katherine Keyser July 11, 2024 4:30 pm

    So far, America have not been reliable, they got sleepy Joe on one side who also, when awake, treats Israel in an untrusted way, by never delivering the bombs but only months later, bcos he is playing god, and threatens the most moral army in the world of killing children, really!! That’s why he won’t give bombs, are we a bunch or morons to insult their intelligence? Or are other talking in Biden’s ear. What a sad bunch.

    Daniel Mayer July 11, 2024 4:36 pm

    I think it’s shameful for Peter Lerner to be throwing shade on a Israeli approach to the war which has not been equivocal, sinpky because Mr. Lerner has to contend with questions. There is no neat and tidy answer to give the madding crowds when they clamoring for the river and the sea. There is no easy answer when the enemy you have pledged to eliminate sits intentionally embedded in schools, in hospitals and in homes. There is no facile approach to achieving that objective without slogging through the extensive tunnel network which has been both constructed and fortified with ill-used humanitarian aid. There is no easy reply. And there is no rapid response to mother’s who have lost sons and daughters while this difficult conflict persists. Let’s never for a moment forget, that beyond ‘who started it’, the rockets are still being fired at civilian targets and death rains down on citizens (nit soldiers) from the north and the south. This has to be terminated. Not the conflict, but the endless barrage on Israeli civilians. Mr. Lerner would be hard-pressed to create a sound bite which the world as it is would have any appetite for. He should not be throwing stones at the only party to this madness is actually sitting in the seat of virtue.

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