Carney: Israel Is Our Closest Ally in the Region

Reporter asks after Obama labeled Israel 'one of our closest allies' in 60 Minutes interview


Asked who is the closest ally of the United States in the Middle East after the president said Israel is “one of our closest allies in the region,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Israel is the closest U.S. ally in the Middle East.

“I think you’ve heard the president numerous times that Israel is our closest ally in the region. We have an unshakable bond with Israel,” Carney said in a Monday press briefing.

Carney went on to detail the administration’s view of the relationship between the United States and Israel.

“President Obama has taken action to assist Israel with its security that is unprecedented–the depth of our cooperation, the amount of our assistance has never been greater, and you’ve heard Israeli leaders verify that,” Carney said.

As stated, Obama referred to Israel as “one of our closest allies in the region” in the interview that aired Sunday night:

STEVE KROFT: You don’t feel any pressure from Prime Minister Netanyahu in the middle of a campaign to try and get you to change your policy and draw a line in the sand? You don’t feel any pressure?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: When it comes to our national security decisions — any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people. And I am going to block out — any noise that’s out there. Now I feel an obligation, not pressure but obligation, to make sure that we’re in close consultation with the Israelis — on these issues. Because it affects them deeply. They’re one of our closest allies in the region. And we’ve got an Iranian regime that has said horrible things that directly threaten Israel’s existence.