Biden and Naftali Bennett to Meet, Seeking to Burnish U.S.-Israel Relations

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Politics|Biden and Naftali Bennett to Meet, Seeking to Burnish U.S.-Israel Relations

Both caller leaders person struck a supportive code aft signs of strain successful the longtime allies’ bond. But they inactive person immense differences connected policy.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel during a gathering  with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken successful  Washington connected  Wednesday. His gathering  with President Biden connected  Thursday volition  beryllium  their first.
Credit...Pool photograph by Olivier Douliery

Annie Karni

Aug. 26, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — When Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel meets President Biden astatine the White House connected Thursday, the 2 caller leaders program to question a reset successful relations betwixt their countries and reenforce a enslaved that has showed signs of strain.

Mr. Biden, who called Mr. Bennett to congratulate him little than 2 hours aft his swearing-in 2 months ago, has tried to nonstop a wide awesome that the United States supports his new, diverse, conjugation government.

Mr. Bennett has said that helium wants his medication to beryllium known arsenic the “good-will government,” and that helium wants to instrumentality a softer code toward the United States than did his longtime predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, who often clashed with Democratic leaders.

But for each the conciliatory style, the situation whitethorn beryllium the substance. Mr. Biden and Mr. Bennett, who person ne'er met before, person vastly antithetic views of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of efforts to reconstruct the Iran atomic deal.

Mr. Bennett has made wide that determination volition not beryllium an autarkic Palestinian authorities portion helium is the caput of his government. The Biden administration, successful contrast, has expressed a heavy committedness to a two-state solution that, by definition, includes an autarkic Palestinian state.

Mr. Bennett besides opposes the United States’ re-entry into the Iran agreement, which the Biden medication is exploring.

“These are 2 precise cardinal issues successful the U.S.-Israel narration connected which determination are radically antithetic points of view,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street, a wide pro-Israel advocacy group. “The code and the ambiance cannot substitute for the information that determination is simply a cardinal quality successful presumption connected the halfway issues astatine involvement successful the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

In a caller interview with The New York Times, Mr. Bennett said helium would grow West Bank settlements, a determination Mr. Biden opposes. And helium declined to backmost American plans to reopen a consulate for Palestinians successful Jerusalem.

Still, helium made wide that helium wanted the gathering to amusement that the narration with the United States was connected much coagulated ground, adjacent if immoderate of his policies are akin to those of Mr. Netanyahu.

“There’s a caller magnitude present — coming up with caller ways to code problems, being precise realistic, precise pragmatic, and being tenable with friends,” Mr. Bennett said.

His sojourn comes arsenic Mr. Biden is navigating the biggest overseas argumentation situation of his young presidency, trying to evacuate each Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan earlier his Aug. 31 deadline for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the state aft 20 years of war.

At home, Mr. Biden is dealing with crosscurrents implicit Israel successful his ain party, arsenic an energized progressive helping and a quiescent displacement among much mainstream Democrats person led galore lawmakers to instrumentality a much skeptical attack toward the longtime ally.

Mr. Bennett is besides the uncommon planetary person that Mr. Biden, a erstwhile president of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, shares nary past with, a favoritism that sets Mr. Bennett isolated adjacent from immoderate of his neighbors. Last month, erstwhile King Abdullah II of Jordan became the archetypal Arab caput of authorities to sojourn the White House since Mr. Biden took office, the president called him a “loyal and decent friend” and noted, “We’ve been hanging retired unneurotic for a agelong time.”

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