Opinion: Despite U.S. president focusing on Saudi leg of trip, the leaders must at least discuss a resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians because this could carry weight in the future

A visit by an American president to Israel is always accompanied by high hopes about its results and outcomes, especially on the Israeli side.

Although this trip seems colored by internal U.S. and Israeli politics, it must not end without the necessary things at least being said.

הכנות לנחיתת ג'ו ביידן בנתב''ג
U.S. and Israel flags flown in honor of the Biden visit (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


Biden arrives in Israel after reaching his political nadir, although it may get even worse in coming month. In recent days, 64% of Democrats told the New York Times they would rather he not run again in 2024.

His party stands to lose one or both chambers of Congress in the November mid-term elections, and with that, the president will lose whatever power he may still hold to advance his ambitious policies for the country.

Biden is clearly focused on the Saudi leg of his trip more than he is on his visit to Israel.

נשיא ארה"ב ג'ו ביידן פגישה עם נשיא דרום קוריאה יון סוק-יאול ב סיאול
Joe Biden (Photo: Reuters)


Despite his earlier position, the global economic crisis and rising energy prices are what is leading Biden to Saudi Arabia where he would be required to restore Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s legitimacy on the world stage in a “morality for oil” deal.

In Israel, he was greeted by the head of a caretaker government that lacks the legitimacy to lead any major change. Even before the Knesset was dissolved, the coalition was held together only by its disdain of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on an agreement to refrain from shaking the status quo with the Palestinians, Iran and the region.

Biden and Prime Minister Yair Lapid can advance little beyond declarative moves such as formalizing agreements around the Straights of Tiran in exchange for opening Saudi airspace to Israeli airliners. But they will do even better if they talk about what really matters — even if none of them have the ability to put it into practice.

 Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid
Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch)


It is important to talk about the U.S.’s return as a key actor in the Middle East.

For this to happen, we must present a vision of a real cooperation move between Washington’s regional allies, one that is based on resuming peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and the creation of a counterweight to the axis that Iran is leading.

Only such a move can serve as the foundation for sustainable power led by the U.S. and not the Abraham accords, which despite opening the door to the Gulf, but further stymied the Palestinian issue.

 שלטי חוצות של בצלם בבית לחם וברמאללה לקראת ביקור ביידן
A sign outside Bethlehem posted by an Israeli rights group ahead of the Biden visit


Israel and the United States must present a clear, comprehensive and clever response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They must avoid pushing Iran into the hands of extremists and attempt to find a long-term response that will push Iran from the brink of obtaining a bomb.

The leaders must discuss technological cooperation, including Israel’s trade ties with China amid tensions between the superpowers, and clarify pending changes in U.S. military aid to Israel that would limit the conversion of dollars to shekels and deal a major blow to the local defense industries.

By November, Biden might become a lame duck president and Lapid may be pushed out of the prime minister’s office, but things discussed now between the two hold much importance rather than the photo opportunities this short presidential visit will create.

As reported by Ynetnews