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Netanyahu Cautious About Meeting Biden In The U.S. Amid Diplomatic Tensions

Israeli PM urged to consider potential political exploitation during poisonous U.S. election campaign

In a phone call on Monday, President Joe Biden invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in the U.S.

The call, which Netanyahu’s office called “warm and long,” was the culmination of several weeks of diplomatic tensions, which included Biden’s sharp criticism of Netanyahu’s coalition during a July 7 CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria.

But Michael Doran, senior fellow and director of the Center for Peace and Security in the Middle East at the Hudson Institute, told Zenger News that Netanyahu should be cautious about accepting Biden’s invitation.

Biden’s team has a “schizophrenic relationship with the Jewish state,” Doran said. “Coming to Washington might mean being a stage prop for prominent Democrats to lecture and embarrass Netanyahu.”

The Israeli premier “should think twice about coming to D.C. in the midst of a particularly poisonous U.S. election campaign, lest he be used for Biden or Kennedy or any number of congressmen and senators to try to ‘out-progressive’ each other,” Doran said. (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is also vying for the Democratic nomination for president.)

Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School professor emeritus and prominent litigator and commentator, sees the Biden invitation differently. “It’s long overdue but a good sign,” he told Zenger News.

The American President is in the Middel East to meet Israeli leaders including Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before travelling to Jordan on Thursday. In a phone call on Monday, President Joe Biden invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with him in the U.S. PHOTO BY DEBBI HILL/GETTY IMAGES 

Biden’s and Netanyahu’s call came a day after Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) “clarified” that at a conference on the previous day, she meant to call Israel’s government racist, and not the state itself. Other members of Congress who spoke at the event also attacked Israel.

Biden previously criticized Netanyahu’s coalition as “one of the most extreme” Israeli government’s he’s ever seen. He had been criticized for not inviting Netanyahu to the White House since the latter’s reelection in November.

The Biden invitation is for Netanyahu to meet with Biden “soon,” Einav Hadari, deputy spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, told Zenger News. Netanyahu “accepted the invitation and it was agreed that Israeli and American teams will coordinate the details of the meeting.”

A White House official, who spoke on background, told Zenger News that the two leaders will meet later this year.

Of the meeting–whenever it might occur—Doran said, “Simply put, it makes sense visiting Washington if it can advance relations. If not, why bother?”


Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

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