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Axelrod: Disputes don’t harm U.S.-Israel ties

JTA

April 15, 2010 | 11:19 am

Israel’s close ties with the United States could withstand the occasional policy dispute, President Obama’s top political adviser said.

“Let’s not confuse the occasional dispute over policy with the fundamental relationship that has guided our two nations for so long and will continue to guide our two nations,” David Axelrod said Wednesday night at an event marking Israel’s 62nd Independence Day held at a hall facing the national Mall here.

U.S.-Israel tensions have intensified since early March, when Israel announced a major housing start in eastern Jerusalem during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden aimed at bolstering the bilateral relationship.

Axelrod, who in his address outlined his own affections for Israel as a Jew growing up in New Jersey, emphasized shared democratic values and Israel’s economic success.

Lee Rosenberg, president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a major Obama backer during the election, also suggested in his remarks that the tensions were a passing phenomenon.

“When we meet again to celebrate Israel’s 63rd year of independence, we can say the United States and Israel remain standing, as always, steadfast together,” he said.

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