Change in the Middle East? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Change in the Middle East?

The media focus on the Summit meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin has to a certain extent crowded out news about the new government in Israel, headed by hardline nationalist Naftali Bennett. In those media outlets that are actually discussing the change there is an odd sort of perception that Israel’s new government will have to adjust to the new regime in Washington. That would imply that the Israelis will have to mitigate some of their more outrageous behavior to accommodate themselves to Biden’s intention to take actions that will be disapproved of in Jerusalem, to include a possible rapprochement with Iran over its nuclear program and a White House reengagement with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015.

The New York Times has an interesting article written by its Washington bureau diplomatic correspondent Michael Crowley with contributions from its new correspondent in Jerusalem Patrick Kingsley. The article is entitled “Shift in Israel Provides Biden a Chance for Better Ties” with a sub-heading that reads “The departure of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister is a relief for Democrats, but Iran and the Palestinians could test Mr. Biden’s relations with a fragile new Israeli government.”

The article argues that the fact that Biden did not call Netanyahu for three months after his own inauguration but called Bennett within three hours is significant. In the phone call Bennett reportedly blamed Netanyahu for “poisoning” the relationship with the United States, which should surprise no one as that was one of the issues hammered at repeatedly by Bennett during his own electoral campaign.

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