HUFFINGTON POST

Axelrod On Israel Meeting: 'No Snub Intended'

WASHINGTON — Top advisers to President Barack Obama say the relationship between the U.S. and Israel remains strong despite sometimes blunt talk and disagreements between the two countries.

David Axelrod tells CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that Israel is a close and valued friend of the United States. He says there's an unshakable bond but that sometimes blunt talk is part of friendship.

Axelrod said "there was no snub intended" by the lack of formal ceremony around President Obama's meeting last week with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

CROWLEY: No picture, that was deliberate, wasn't it?

AXELROD: We were not interested in -- this was not about a -- this was not about formalities. This was not about a ceremonial meeting. This was a working meeting. This was a... CROWLEY: Well, it's a nicety. AXELROD: This was a working meeting among friends. And so there was no snub intended. Look, Israel is a close, dear, and valued friend of the U.S., a great ally. That is an unshakeable bond. But sometimes part of friendship is expressing yourself bluntly. We have a deep, abiding interest in Israel's security. And we believe the peace process is essential to that. And we are doing everything we can to move that process forward.

Meanwhile, senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett tells ABC's "This Week" that friends like Israel and the United States can disagree without incurring damage. She says what's important is to be able to have frank conversations and move forward.

Netanyahu said in the last week that he thought some progress had been made in defusing an unusually public spat with the U.S. over new Israeli housing in east Jerusalem.

Jarrett says Netanyahu should have no doubt about Obama's commitment to Israel's security.