May 11, 2021

What the Latest Fighting Between Israelis and Palestinians Means for Biden

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist: Dan Ephron

To understand what the latest fighting means for Washington, Foreign Policy spoke to Ilan Goldenberg, who served as a senior State Department official in the Obama administration and took part in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians led by then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Foreign Policy: I imagine that Biden came into office telling himself, ‘I’m going to avoid getting mixed up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.’ How does this escalation change the equation in terms of his approach?

Ilan Goldenberg: I think this administration was really determined to focus first on the Indo-Pacific and on China, as opposed to getting sucked into the Middle East. It’s why you have special envoys for Iran and for Yemen but not, for example, for Israel-Palestine. But in my opinion they probably are going to need to put a greater level of focus on it than they would have otherwise. You just never know when it’s going to explode.

Read the full interview from Foreign Policy.


  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...