Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has "categorically" rejected a claim by Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz today at the Democratic National Convention that he had told her the Republican approach to the Israel issue was "dangerous" to the Jewish state.
"I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel. Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle," Oren said, according to Alana Goodman of Commentary.
Meanwhile, the growing alienation of the Israeli government and the Obama administration is leading to fears of a further decline in relations if Obama wins re-election in November.
An Israeli security official believes the distance Obama is placing between the U.S. and Israel is indicative of at least one thing -- plans to punish Netanyahu if Obama is able to win a second term.
The unnamed official believes Obama took umbrage at a dinner Netanyahu held in Gov. Mitt Romney's honor, and is now positioning himself to "make Netanyahu pay for his behavior."
Other Israeli officials said Obama is also motivated to distance himself from Israel at this time in an effort to prevent the U.S. from being "dragged into war." In other words, for the sake of stability at home and abroad as the election draws near, Obama is willing to let Israel go it alone with Iran. (He's already let Iran know as much via diplomatic channels.)
Therefore, whether the end game is to get back at Netanyahu or to avoid war, or both, the bottom line is clear: With Obama in office, Israel simply cannot count on any help from the U.S. when it comes to dealing with Iran.
Joel B. Pollak contributed to this report.