Marking Alliance with US, Israel Says We Want Iran to Get Out of Syria, Yemen

PM Netanyahu aboard the USS Ross. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon (GPO)

On a day in which the Israelis welcomed a United States naval warship to dock at the Israeli port of Ashdod for the first time in 19 years, telling someone else to leave was a theme in the comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marking the occasion. Saying there’s “nothing like the American-Israeli alliance,” Netanyahu said on Thursday, “We are committed to preventing Iran from expanding its empire. We want them to go back to Iran, get out of Syria, get out of Yemen, get out of Iraq and stop building war and misery, creating misery everywhere they go.”

Netanyahu said the US-Israel alliance is manifested “most especially in the sharing of military intelligence and in military cooperation against terror, against the aggressive force of Iran in this region.”

The US and Israel have both been vocal about Iran meddling in other nations’ affairs. The Israelis have taken action to prevent Iran from establishing a militaristic foothold in Syria, where the Iranians have backed the regime for years. As for Yemen, the US has highlighted the Iranian weapons that have been delivered to the Houthi rebels battling the Saudi-backed Yemeni regime and have even been turned on Saudi targets.

In Iraq, the US is wary of Iranian influence and sponsorship of terror. Just last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iran “the origin of the current threat to Americans in Iraq,” according to comments published by the State Department.

That voice opposing Iran in the US goes all the way to the top. Netanyahu said that President Donald Trump’s commitment to getting Iran out of other Middle East nations has been expressed “many times” and President Trump “expressed his support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Iran’s aggression against Israel in Syria. He said, ‘we back you 100 percent.’ And I believe that in a way, this visit [by the US warship] expresses that commitment so clearly, and that partnership so well.”

The docking of the American Destroyer class USS Ross also honored 243 years of the US Navy. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was quoted in the Israeli press release as highlighting the appropriateness of having the Ross dock in Israel.

“I hope the symbolism of this moment is not lost upon anyone. Israel and the United States have enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship for decades,” Friedman was quoted as saying.

“…This vessel is a testament to American resolve to confront and defeat violent extremist organizations and nations wherever they operate. There is no more fitting place for the USS Ross to seek safe harbor than the State of Israel which stands on the front lines of this effort as a critical partner with the United States.”

Netanyahu certainly got that message, and shared it himself. “It is American power that protects American values that are universal values that we in Israel share. And the preeminent value is that of liberty. The US navy’s role in this is enormous,” said the Israeli leader.

“I want to thank you on behalf of free peoples everywhere, but especially the free people of the democracy called Israel, your best ally in the world.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, October 11, 2018)

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