Netanyahu: U.S., Israel Alliance Is Not Faltering

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his meeting in Washington with President Obama should lay "to rest" the idea that the decades-old alliance between their two countries has frayed.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," the prime minister described his visit as positive and productive, saying Obama expressed a sincere understanding of the challenges facing his country as he moves toward pressing for direct peace talks with the Palestinians. He would not discuss certain "confidential "aspects of the conversation, but said about half of the meeting was devoted to a "detailed" discussion of Israel's security concerns. He would not say whether Obama approved of an Israeli-led military strike on Iran.

"If anyone thought that there was a change of U.S. policy or daylight between Israel and the United States on these questions, I think he did a lot to lay that to rest," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu said each country has no greater ally than the other and that Obama personally expressed to him that U.S. policy had not changed. He declined to compare Obama's approach to his predecessors'.

"I don't compare people. This is something you leave for biographies. But I can tell you there is a consistent line. And all U.S. presidents, from everyone that I met including President Obama, share what the president called the basic bedrock of this unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States," he said.

Obama and Netanyahu both expressed their mutual commitment on Tuesday following their face-to-face meeting -- one much more public and friendly than in March, when meetings were conducted privately and there was no joint statement. That meeting came at a time of high tensions between the two administrations, but Obama and Netanyahu claimed this past week they were making progress.

On "Fox News Sunday," Netanyahu again stated he's ready for direct talks with the Palestinians, but said President Mahmoud Abbas needs to "step up to the plate."

"I need a partner on the other side. I can't be a trapeze artist that wants to connect with the other guy and there's no one there," he said. "I need a Palestinian partner."

The prime minister said the differences between them -- over settlements, over the status of Jerusalem -- should not delay the start of face-to-face talks.

"We have differences of views with the Palestinians. We want a united city (in Jerusalem). They have their own views. This is one of the issues that will have to be negotiated. But I think the main point is to get on with it," he said. "What are we wasting more time for? Let's just get on with it."