A Biden visit: Treat with care

If President Joe Biden suggests that he would like to visit Israel of course that is not a suggestion but rather a command and Israel has no option but to offer the invite.

On the other hand, if there is no such suggestion, then Israel should think carefully before reaching for it: a visit will come with a price.

First, there is concern about the Embassy. Will Biden visit there, or will he ask that his official address be Tel Aviv and what will be the result of downgrading Jerusalem?

Then there is concern about a likely visit to the PA. Should he visit there, in Ramallah, what will a joint declaration following such a visit say? Is there any way Israel can be certain that such will not remark on “Arab rights” on the Temple Mount, on “East Jerusalem” and Israeli housing plans there, on “actions” by Israel against Arab “freedoms”, on settlement policy, on construction in Jerusalem, on “refugees”? It is likely, or at least to be hoped, that nothing would be said about sovereignty on the Golan.

And on Israeli acts in self-defense: what might the President say about preemptive air strikes over Syria, or possible actions re: Iran? And would there by a comment on Gaza.

Recognizing the influence of the Democratic Party “squad”: is there assurance that the President will not speak about “apartheid” allegations, or tying arms sales to “sensitivity” of Israel to the “rights” of the Palestinians? And would he bring a member of the squad with him to visit with him in the PA, would he restrain a press conference on the return to the US.

The State Department, Jewish secretaries not-withstanding, has not been kind to Israel. Be assured that it will define a Biden visit to Israel.

A visit by President Biden at this time is with the November elections in mind, and his audience is not just Zionist leaning US Jews, but the entire US left political wing, including those many Jews here for whom Israel is wrong.

So it’s my opinion that if the White House doesn’t push, Israel should not open the door.

About the Author
Arnold L. Flick was born 1930 of secular, Zionist, Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. He has followed events in Israel since age seven when he first solicited for the “Jews of Palestine” on the streets of Los Angeles as a young member of Habonim. He was in Israel for four months 1990-91 and for two months 2002. He is active in the House of Israel Balboa park, a non-profit museum in Balboa Park, San Diego, that provides information about Israel to its 15,000 annual visitors.
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