Herzog Bey Biden: The US President’s Frustration


Status: 07/19/2023 03:26 AM

Israeli President Herzog met with a colleague in the United States who was unusually clear about his discontent with politics in Tel Aviv. Here, Herzog is on a bridge-building mission.

Ralph Burchard

At the beginning of his talks in Washington, Isaac Herzog emphasized that “Israeli democracy is solid, strong and resilient.” Israel is going through a difficult time in heated arguments, but he will continue to work for a compromise in order to “get out of this crisis together.”

President Herzog works as a bridge builder

The fact that President Herzog was received again in Washington, but not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says David Makovsky, director of the Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, says a lot about the current state of relations.

Herzog is at the center of the controversy over judicial reform in Israel. It is he who is trying to find a middle ground between the right-wing religious coalition government and the opposition. Herzog is considered a bridge builder. At a time of tension between President Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu, Herzog epitomizes US-Israel relations.

David Makovsky, director of the Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington

Invite Netanyahu without an appointment

Joe Biden promised Benjamin Netanyahu to hold a meeting before the end of the year last Monday, but the invitation remained vague and without a specific date. Biden has repeatedly and vocally criticized both the planned judicial reform and Netanyahu’s settlement policy.

Biden said in a recent television interview that the Netanyahu government is “one of the most radical” he has ever seen. At the start of the Duke’s visit, the US president made more diplomatic statements.

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“America’s commitment to Israel is unbreakable,” Biden said. This also applies to the goal of never allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

US military aid is not within reach

How strong will Biden be willing to put pressure on Netanyahu in the end? Could it even go to the foundations, the annual financial and military support for Israel?

No, says political scientist Makovsky: “No American president would touch Israel’s military support or intelligence cooperation. After all, Israel’s real enemies—Iran, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad—are not Israel’s imagination, they are real.”

What Biden is expressing is the frustration of a pro-Israel president who cares about core values ​​and Israeli democracy and wants to say to Netanyahu: “Man, you’re the prime minister, you have to set the tone, not these extremist ministers. Let me help you. Work with me.”

Boycott calls from left-wing Democrats

When President Herzog speaks before both chambers of the US Congress today, some members of the left wing of the Democrats want to turn away visibly – in solidarity with the Palestinians. Makovsky does not understand that.

“Herzog embodies Yitzhak Rabin’s tradition of peace,” says Makovsky. He was always committed to the peace process.” And there was progress: peace with Egypt, peace with Jordan, and most recently peace with the United Arab Emirates, with Bahrain, with Morocco.

Perhaps there will soon be peace with Saudi Arabia – a real goal of the Biden government that has not yet been properly understood in Europe, says the political scientist. “If you want to go through with all of this, President Herzog’s boycott is really beyond my understanding.”

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