President Herzog visits the White House for the first time less than a week before the legislative elections in his country
The unwritten rules indicate that the tenant of the White House must not receive any foreign president on the eve of the elections so as not to influence the result, but when receiving Israeli President Isaak Herzog yesterday, Joe Biden did not intend to send any sign of support for the Labor Party, which according to polls will give seats to Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right formation. It was precisely about sealing, with this first friendly handshake in the Oval Office, that whatever happens in Israel next week, or in the US in two weeks, the friendship between the two governments will be unbreakable.
Herzog did not hesitate to say out loud that he has chosen this critical moment for both leaders on purpose: “This visit best embodies it: our friendship and our strong ties transcend all political differences, opinions and parties.”
The moment also comes just days before Israel signs a treaty with Lebanon that Biden himself has championed since he was Obama’s vice president. And the same day that marks the 40th day since the death of Mahsa Amini, which has unleashed furious internal protests against the regime of the ayatollahs, an enemy of Israel. Herzog is seeking US help to foment these protests and says he has brought more evidence to Washington that Iranian drones are the ones exploiting Ukraine. The US has already canceled talks with Tehran to renew the anti-nuclear treaty and promises retaliation, but if Israel can add fuel to the fire, it will.
Both sides publicly acknowledged that “the Iranian challenge” took up most of the conversation between the two presidents. But according to the White House statement, Biden has also “emphasized” the importance of the Israeli government taking steps to de-escalate tension in the West Bank and promote a two-state solution. Words that will remain on wet paper if the polls endorse the polls.
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