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U.S., Israel Deny Claims Relationship Strained, Deny Closed Door Shouting Match

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Contrary to previous reports, both Israel and the UN are denying recent reports of a row at a recent White House meeting concerning Hezb’Allah. I hope this is is true and not just some face-saving move. Israel has been covering for some Trump missteps, so I will reserve judgement for now.

McMaster is no friend of Israel. That much we do know.

U.S., Israel Reject Claims Relationship Strained, Deny Closed Door Shouting Match

Trump admin, Israel shoot down reports of disagreement over combatting Hezbollah

By Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, September 14, 2017:

Senior U.S. and Israeli officials deny the relationship between the two countries has been strained over differences in how to deal with the threat of Hezbollah, according to multiple senior government officials from both countries who told the Washington Free Beacon that recent reports of a yelling match between senior Trump administration and Israeli government officials are false.

Recent media reports allege the Trump administration and Israel have been in conflict over the best way to deal with the threat posed by Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed terror organization that has played a major role in bolstering embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Tensions are said to have come to a head during a high-level August meeting between the countries in which White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is alleged to have yelled at his Israeli counterparts and dismissed concerns about Hezbollah being a terror organization—a charge that multiple senior U.S. and Israeli officials denied in conversations with the Free Beacon.

Further allegations that the Israeli delegation asked White House National Security Council staffer Mustafa Javed Ali to leave the room over concerns that he does not view Hezbollah as a terror organization also are being called untrue, according to both U.S. and Israeli officials who were present in the Aug. 27 meeting.

A copy of the official list of U.S. and Israeli officials participating in the high-level meeting shows that Ali was never scheduled to attend, according to a copy of that list viewed by the Free Beacon.

The situation is being portrayed in the U.S. and Israeli media as further proof of tension between McMaster’s NSC and their Israeli counterparts.

The issue of Hezbollah’s rise in the region—and the direct threat this poses to Israel as Iranian-backed forces gather closer to its borders—has been a mainstay of ongoing dialogue between the United States and Israel, with multiple senior Trump administration sources telling the Free Beaconthat McMaster’s NSC fully agrees with Israel’s concerns and supports Hezbollah’s designation as a global terrorist organization.

Michael Anton, spokesman for the White House NSC, denied that McMaster ever yelled at his Israeli counterparts and described multiple media reports claiming otherwise as flatly untrue.

Anton further disclosed to the Free Beacon that, as part of a renewed push to counter Hezbollah’s influence in the region, McMaster “has directed the NSC staff to look at ways the U.S. can be more aggressive in its posture towards Hezbollah.”

The effort to counter Hezbollah, which is supported by the Israelis, is “a major element of our Iran strategy,” according to Anton, who described this policy as directed at ensuring that Iran and it’s terror proxies do not retain a permanent foothold in Syria, where they would “endanger Israel’s borders.”

Anton further knocked down allegations that NSC aide Ali was asked to leave the meeting by the Israelis, telling the Free Beacon that he was never scheduled to participate in the discussions and was not present at any point.

Senior Israeli officials independently confirmed to the Free Beacon that recent media reports about the tension are false.

“Israel never asked for Mustafa Ali to not attend a meeting on Hezbollah, Syria, or any other matter,” Itai Bardov, spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, told the Free Beacon. “Israel is not aware of any Trump administration official that does not consider Hezbollah a terror organization, and Gen. McMaster never yelled at Israeli officials.”

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