The United States administration and members of Congress are outraged at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s capitulation to a Chinese ultimatum to either pull Israeli witnesses from testifying at a New York trial or have his family trip to China last May cancelled.
The trial is a case against the Bank of China which is being sued for laundering money that ultimately funded acts of terror by Hamas. The case was brought by a Florida couple whose 16-year old son was killed in a terrorist attack in Israel in 2006. Because the US anti-terrorism campaign is strongly tied to following the money trail and forcing the international banking community to refuse to deal with terrorist organizations, the withdrawal of important Israeli witnesses who can testify to the link between the Bank of China and Hamas is a serious setback for the American counterterrorism efforts as well as the prosecution of the case-at-hand.
The daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot, which broke the story, reported that Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren was sent back to Israel over the weekend to make very clear to Netanyahu and his brain trust just how livid the American administration is.
The US has threatened to issue subpoenas to force Oren and National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror to testify.