John McCain: U.S. Relationship With Israel Is 'The Worst That I've Ever Seen'

| by Edward Arnold
Sen. John McCain.Sen. John McCain.

According to Sen. John McCain, the U.S. relationship with Israel isn't so hot right now.

In an interview with CNN's “State of the Union,” the Arizona Republican said “It's the worst that I've ever seen in my lifetime.”

Currently, tensions are high on Capital Hill after Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington D.C. without notifying the president. The White House has announced President Barack Obama will not meet with Netanyahu.

McCain thinks U.S. relations with Israel are at a stand off because of Obama. "The president had very unrealistic expectations about the degree of cooperation that he would get from Israel," he said.

While he did acknowledge that former President George H. W. Bush did have a rocky relationship with Israel, McCain added that "no one other president has had such a difficult relationship with Israel."

As for Boehner's decision to invite Netanyahu to speak before Congress without notifying the White House, McCain said, “obviously I would have talked to the White House... I might have at least informed them, but I certainly agree we don't need their permission given the state of relations."

McCain added that the state of affairs between Obama and the Republican leaders of Congress have not helped the situation with Israel. The White House continues to acknowledge the relationship with Israel is a work in progress.

“Our relationship with Israel is many faceted, deep and abiding,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said. “It’s focused on a shared series of threats, but also, on a shared series of values that one particular instance is not going to inform overwhelming.”

The White House explained that the reason Obama will not meet with Netanyahu is because of a democratic principle that the White House does not visit foreign heads of state near elections to avoid influencing the outcome of elections.

Netanyahu plans to speak to Congress in March. 

Sources: The Hill, Politico / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons