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Can A Congressional Hug Wipe Out Biden’s Netanyahu Snub? – Analysis

Tovah Lazaroff
Jerusalem Post, May 1, 2023

“If Israel’s enemies thought the US didn’t have Israel’s back, then here was McCarthy to remind them that he did.”
 
It is a rare day when the White House seems almost irrelevant in the relations between nations.

But US Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his bipartisan congressional delegation that visited Israel this week managed to give that impression – and in this case, it was not a good thing.

If anything, their visit was like a welcomed summer rain after a long period of drought. The trip was designed to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary and the nation’s strong bond with the United States.
The timing, however, meant that the visit took place amid one of the most contentious periods of domestic turmoil in Israel’s history and a time of rising tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and the White House.
US President Joe Biden has opposed Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plan, which he fears will weaken Israeli democracy, and has so far refused to issue the traditional White House invitation typically extended to Israel’s prime minister after forming a new government. The absence of the invitation was a public branding of the dispute with serious security overtones, as it indicated a rift precisely at a time when a united Israeli-US front is needed against Iran.
There is no way around it, an Israel that is distant from its primary security partner and historical ally is more vulnerable to regional and global enemies.
A prime minster who bungles that relationship is a leader who appears to be losing control, not just domestically but also internationally. Just two nights ago, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez issued a virtual address to an anti-judicial reform rally in Tel Aviv.
“Our values are your values. Our heritage is your heritage. Our dreams are your dreams,”
…. [To read the full article, click here]

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