Middle East

Israel’s opinion of Biden’s performance is less than positive

Israeli criticism of the US administration remains unchanged, whether because of what it considers the “farce” of withdrawing from Afghanistan, or what it sees as laxity with Iran by returning to the days of the Cold War. The latest cause for concern in Tel Aviv is America’s humiliating approach to the war in Ukraine. All of these issues may have negative effects for Israel regionally while damaging its relationship with Washington further.

Such a reading of US President Joe Biden’s performance is less than positive. And that’s being generous.

“Israeli data says that the Democrat president enjoys popularity among only half of the American people, and the other half is opposed to him, yet the only place in which Biden enjoys almost complete support is within his party, by 82 per cent,” explained Damian Pachter, a writer for Israel Hayom. “Israeli circles believe that one of the most important reasons for this decline is his laxity regarding the Iranian nuclear file. What the Israeli security and political forums see regarding American behaviour towards Iran, indicates a loose policy from the White House towards Middle East issues.”

Pachter cited Biden’s decision to remove Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the list of terrorist organisations as the “latest example” of this. “Biden, though, will not be able to sign the nuclear agreement with Iran without obtaining a pledge from the House of Representatives and the Senate to provide a majority in the event that it is put to a vote,” he noted.

American intelligence failures are to blame, claim the Israelis. Biden’s policy, they argue, is based on “inaccurate estimates” of what is happening in the Middle East. Such failures are responsible for Washington’s approach to the Iran nuclear deal as well as the withdrawal from Afghanistan. “This has implications for Israel’s standing in the region.”

Various security forums in Israel say that the matter will not end with Iran and Afghanistan, or even Daesh. There is a shadow being cast on White House inaction towards all Middle East files, which has led to an increase in Russia’s expansionist aspirations. President Vladimir Putin, it seems, has smelled Biden’s apparent weakness, and predicted, correctly, the modest Western response to the war in Ukraine, which is being monitored closely by military analysts in Israel.

It is true that the Russian economy has been affected severely by US and EU sanctions, but Biden has fallen short of using NATO to deter the Russians from working against its member states. This sends the very negative message to Israel that America will not fight on its behalf, and more specifically will not sacrifice its soldiers for the sake of Israeli security in the event of a war with Iran.

READ: Israeli doubts are growing about relying on the United States

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