Does Biden's Israel Visit Signal New U.S. Resolve in the Middle East?

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser - In the wake of President Biden's visit to Israel, even if the potential for a strategic change in U.S. policy in the region is only partially realized, the potential nevertheless exists. The visit illustrated the intimacy that characterizes Israel-U.S. relations, the American commitment to Israel's security, and the common interest in promoting relations between Israel and Arab countries. Biden emphasized the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. The visit reflected American recognition of the new reality created by the war in Ukraine and the failure to return to the agreement with Iran. This reality is forcing the Biden administration to come to terms, slowly and reluctantly, with the fact that the same forces that threaten the world order - Russia, China, and Iran - are also the ones that threaten the regional order in the Middle East and threaten vital American interests there. Therefore, the situation requires cooperation with the parties that oppose these destabilizing forces. During the visit, President Biden repeatedly pointed out that the return of the U.S. to the region is necessary to prevent the creation of a vacuum that Russia and China will fill, implicitly through their cooperation with Iran. While there is a trend toward weakening the powerful U.S. regional position, especially since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, America remains the most critical superpower in the world (as the elimination of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on August 1 attests). The primary goal shared by Israel and the pragmatic Arab countries is to translate their meeting of interests into a change in American policy towards Iran so that the U.S. will exert pressure on the extremist Islamic regime, including presenting a credible military threat to Iran to curb its nuclear program. The writer, director of the project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center, was formerly head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

2022-08-04 00:00:00

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