.com with AFP | 23:35 – 27 August 2021
Joe Biden received Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House on Friday, August 27, the day after the deadly bombing at Kabul airport which forced the two leaders to postpone their meeting, and cast a shadow over the operation seduction deployed by Israel.
“My thoughts, and our thoughts to all, are with those whom we lost”, declared at the end of the meeting the President of the United States, in reference to the American soldiers killed in the attack. After offering his condolences, Bennett said he “brought with (him) from Jerusalem a new spirit of goodwill”.
The Israeli leader hopes to give a fresh start to relations with the United States, while Benjamin Netanyahu, during his 15 years in power, sided with the Republican side and upset the Democrats. Yet on his first official overseas visit, Naftali Bennett showed himself loyal to many of his predecessor’s hardline positions. Quoting the Islamic State, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad or Hamas, the Prime Minister said that these were all reasons why “Israel must always be much stronger … than all our enemies put together.” On several key points, Bennett’s positions have remained in opposition to those of the White House.
The prime minister was brought to power in June by an ideologically divided coalition, in which his famously hawkish party holds only a handful of seats. The Israeli leader said he wanted to continue building settlements, and said he was against a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by the Jewish state since 1967.
Differences of opinion
Israel is also fiercely opposed to Biden’s plan to revert to the now moribund 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which former President Donald Trump had withdrawn. Joe Biden pledged that the United States will commit to ensuring that “Iran never develops a nuclear weapon, but we favor diplomacy and see where it takes us.” But if diplomacy fails, we are ready to turn to other options ”.
In the Oval Office, the Israeli Prime Minister said that the Kabul attack demonstrated the potential danger posed by Iran with nuclear weapons. “The past few days show what the world would look like if a radical Islamic regime possessed nuclear weapons.” After asserting that the United States had an “unwavering commitment” to the security of the Jewish state, the American president, in an allusion to their differences of opinion, said that they would “also discuss ways to advance peace, security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians ”.