October 27, 2022

In a Visit with an Old Friend, Israel’s Herzog Can Help Biden Make the Strategic Choice

By Jonathan Lord

It’s always nice to visit with old friends, and while Israeli President Isaac Herzog came to Washington this week to discuss a range of gravely serious world events, he also came bearing the message that the U.S.-Israel relationship extends deeper than any policy disagreement, or any election (of which there are two about to happen — here and in Israel). He reminded the audience of friendly faces at an Atlantic Council event this week that either he, or a member of his family, have engaged with every U.S. president going back to FDR. So “Bougie,” as he’s known to his friends, is a comfortable and familiar presence in Washington. That’s good news, because Bougie will have to deliver some hard truths to President Biden — as only a friend can.

For the United States to pivot toward dealing with the priorities of Russia and China, it will need to put the Middle East in a position to provide for more of its own security by making its militaries more capable and getting them to work cooperatively.

In their visit yesterday, it’s safe to assume the two presidents spoke at length about Iran’s malign activities, which, while once endemic to the Middle East, have metastasized to Europe. Iran’s provision of loitering munitions to Russia, of which Herzog has brought fresh photo evidence to Washington, has enabled Vladimir Putin to terrorize and murder Ukrainian civilians. On this issue, one might recall that it was just last week that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz demurred when Ukraine made a public request for Israeli air-defense systems to neutralize that very threat — so, what gives?

Read the full article from The Hill.

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