With the Iran nuclear agreement essentially a done deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to the United States—and the Center for American Progress—hoping to repair relationships with Democrats and liberals.
As part of a Washington jaunt that also included meeting with President Obama, with whom he has had a tense relationship, Netanyahu earned some positive feedback at the decidedly left-wing think tank.
“While we have disagreed on some issues, including the Iran nuclear deal,” said Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, “we also believe deeply that the U.S.-Israel relationship is vital.”
Netanyahu acknowledged the disagreement over Iran but also said he and the Obama administration have no disagreement about the future, including “holding Iran’s feet to the fire” by making sure the country lives up to its obligations.
“His only comments on Iran were positive,” Greg Rosenbaum, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council, told the press afterwards. “He didn’t threaten to do everything to undermine the deal.”
When asked by Tanden about the future of Israel and whether it would continue to control Gaza and occupy the West Bank, Netanyahu stressed the need for a Palestinian state that is not committed to Israel’s destruction and that there be an Israeli security presence in case a Palestinian state is taken over by extremists.