As President Trump’s term winds down and he is spending his last days sitting on the White House throne, he’ll adhere to the image that he tried to plant as the most pro-Israel president in history. In a speech last year at the Oval Office, he said that the Jewish State has never had a better friend in the White House than your president. In reply, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Trump that he had been the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House.
If we look back at the history and bring to mind a meeting between the-then Israeli Prime Minister; David Ben Gurion and President; John F. Kennedy, in which Kennedy reportedly said “I was elected by the Jews of New York. I have to do something for them. I will do something for you.” In reply, the Prime Minister, Ben Gurion, reportedly responded that you must do whatever is good for the free world.
Trump was great for Netanyahu. The nature of closeness was predicted when Trump made a quick stop at Tel Aviv on his first official visit. However, there’s a lesson in Ben Gurion’s reply to John F. Kennedy. With awe and reverence around the world for the United States, especially in the already troubled Middle East, Israel is stronger. And on that gain, President-elect Joe Biden will be better for Israel strengthening bi-partisan American support for the Jewish state.
Trump can point to several programs that fell in Israel’s favor to support his profess, especially this year’s landmark of Abraham Accords. Antagonism toward Iran is the currency of faith in today’s the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates led the way in making peace with Israel and normalizing the relations. Then came Bahrain, the pestering horse for Saudi Arabia.
President Trump’s pro-Israel shrug facade a frail face of American credibility and reputation around the world. For example, President Trump’s loom towards Iran, i-e walking away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, doesn’t halt Iran’s nuclear program. According to INEA, Iran now has more stock of low enhanced Uranium as ever. Trump’s faulty and autocratic approach to the Israel-Palestinian peace process has tainted Israel’s security and not improved it. Iran is one step closer to its nuclear program, while in terms of progress, an unaided decree of the Israel-Palestinian conflict remains in the sticks.
Trump and the White House advisor, who happens to be his son-in-law as well turned into oligarchs. In 2018, Trump had officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; Netanyahu went into raptures over the president and placed him in the same caliber as other historical patrons of the Jewish people I-e Cyrus the Great, Lord Balfour, and Harry S. Truman. Trump constructed such a slam acquaintance with Netanyahu that the prime minister never said no if Trump wanted anything in return. Whatever Netanyahu wanted, Trump seemed to obligate him. Trump and Netanyahu worked in their better interest rather than the better interest of the region.
Trump’s disperse approach towards Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria put US’s reliability into question and lifted many eyebrows. F-35 fighter jets’ sale to the United Arab Emirates is regarded as a key factor to the diplomatic normalization deal with Israel. Trump paid whatever cost it takes to anybody in the Muslim world to recognize Israel. On the other hand, Israeli analysts showed concerns that allowing the former foe the access to state-of-the-art American military bird lessens one of Israel’s strategic advantages.
But the question arises that will Biden be able to turn the relationship from personal towards regional? Will he work on the model of Bill Clinton? Or will he follow the advice of David Ben Gurion?
Biden had been a senator and as vice president in the Obama administration. He was deeply engaged in shaping US diplomat marches and military policy across the Middle East. During his election campaign, he sold his experience dealing with Iraq, Israel, Syria, Iran, and others in the region. The Americans bought it. It’s a greater test for Joe Biden in the Middle East.
Biden administration won’t magically evaporate the issues between Israel and Iran or Israel and the Palestinians. Iran’s terms for reaching a deal on the nuclear program may be steep, but Palestinians bear the pain for the gloomy shape of the peace process.
More peace treaties may be on their way unless Biden returns to former President Barack Obama’s path of lecturing the House of Saud, which is not very Biden. KSA can be pushed to share the Middle East on the other side of the Persian Gulf and don’t act like a spoiled brat. Once Palestinians have been restituted of the support of Arab shared aims, the Palestinians might be forced to return to the negotiating table like a sophisticated child. This was the very plan of Trump.
President-elect Biden has been a firm backer of Israel throughout his political career, tagging himself a Zionist. His commitment to Israel’s stability and regional dominance is ticketed as ironclad. He promises to place reasonable pressure on Israel to resolve its conflicts. He also, during media talks, predicted not withholding the aid. He also supports and shares the point of view in keeping the US embassy in Jerusalem after Trump moved it there in 2018.
Biden hopes that he will renew US aid to the Palestinians, re-open the Palestinian mission in Washington, and return to traditional two-state positions in this conflict. Still, there is a bleak chance of a full return to the status quo gamble in terms of quashing Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli authority over Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. None the less, the change in the genre of music coming from Washington will mark a difference for the Palestinian leadership and their agenda, resulting in encouraging them to renew cooperation with Israel and maybe declare their acceptance to re-enter US-sponsored negotiations. What happens next? Time will tell.