What Not to Expect from Biden’s Jerusalem Trip

Biden, however, sought to de-escalate some of the tension over the actions of the previous administration. the embrace of israeland also to recalibrate relations with the Palestinians. Nothing too dramatic, though; in The White House made it clear from the outset, it is not interested in investing any political capital in the resumption of peace negotiations.
The President’s visit will also take place less than a month after collapse of the last Israeli government, which will only reinforce Washington’s confidence that now is not the time to start Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy. Instead, expect attention to Israel’s growing regional relations and to the Palestinian economy.
New Prime Minister Yair Lapid there will be a person welcoming Biden to Israel, but the American guest also finds time to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu, who do opinion polls suggest may be ready to return. Look carefully when the president shakes hands with the former Israeli prime minister and you can see that Trump’s shadow may be at least a little present in the room.
To learn more about what to expect from Biden’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, CNN spoke with the former US ambassador to Israel. Dan Shapiro.
How does Biden’s policy toward Israel differ from that of his predecessors, especially toward Jerusalem as Israel? indivisible capitalGolan heights and settlements?
Biden firmly believes that the only possible solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement for two states living in peace and security. He supported Trump’s move of the US embassy to Jerusalem in recognition of Israel’s capital. But he also promised to restore a separate U.S. consulate for Palestinian diplomacy that Trump closed, and he remembers that a two-way solution claims in Jerusalem possible only at the negotiating table. With the civil war in Syria flaring up and Iran’s desire to threaten Israel with weapons based there, there is no serious opportunity for Israeli-Syrian negotiations. Thus, Biden sees nothing on the horizon that raises any doubt about Israeli control over golan heightsand there is no need to delve into the question of sovereignty.

Unlike some of his predecessors, Biden has yet to appoint a special envoy to the Middle East a year into his presidency. What does this say about the importance he attaches to resolving the Middle East conflict?

A leader for all Israelis?  Yair Lapid becomes interim prime minister
This likely reflects a realistic assessment that the internal political dynamics of Israel and Palestine make a breakthrough highly unlikely, as well as the rise of other priorities such as competing with China, resurrecting NATO and now, aid to Ukraine repel the Russian invasion. In the meantime, the Biden administration is backing moves that strengthen the Palestinian economy, reduce friction between Israelis and Palestinians, and limit actions by both sides, such as expanding settlements and paying terrorists. [through the Palestinian Authority Martyr’s Fund] – this can make it even more difficult to reach a final solution.

If the US wants something from Israel regarding a political solution for the Palestinians, what can Biden offer in return?

I don’t think Biden is trying to get Israel to take concrete action or decisions on the political horizon. At this stage, when there are no negotiations, it is more about maintaining the prospects of the two states for negotiations that will take place later. Although the process of normalizing relations with the Arab States is moving forward, which he fully supports, the Palestinian question continues to resonate in much of the Arab world and will affect prospects to join new countries.

Will Israel make any gestures towards the Palestinians ahead of Biden’s trip?

The Israelis recently focused on the next election, the fifth in less than four years. While new interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid is more moderate on the Palestinian issue than outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett or his longtime predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli election campaigns are not the times when gestures to the Palestinians are most likely.

Biden is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu, the leader of the opposition. With Netanyahu firmly tied to the Trump presidency, how much of a setback would it be for the Biden administration if Netanyahu became Israel’s prime minister again, if at all?

There is nothing unusual about a friendly meeting between a visiting US president and a Democratic ally leader of the opposition. There could have been more with Netanyahu policy differences than with Lapid, especially sharp disagreements around the Palestinian issue and nuclear negotiations with Iran. But such disagreements are not new in US-Israeli relations. Biden will try not to interfere in Israel’s domestic politics.
Do you expect Biden to raise assassination of Shirin Abu Akle during the visit, or is the case closed against the US?

The tragic death of Shirin Abu Akle continues to be of concern to the US because she was a US citizen and because of the priority given to journalists who can safely do their jobs. While the results of the American investigation into who was responsible for her murder were inconclusive. [but added that Israeli military gunfire was “likely responsible” for her death], the Biden administration continues to push for accountability. The topic has not gone away, although the US position is unlikely to satisfy either the Israelis or the Palestinians.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.


Family of slain Palestinian-American journalist demands meeting with Biden

The family of slain Palestinian-American reporter Shirin Abu Akle on Friday sent a strongly worded letter to US President Joe Biden, accusing the US government of “an apparent attempt to undermine our efforts to achieve justice and accountability” and demanding a meeting with the president. during his visit to the region this week.

  • Background: Abu Akle was shot dead in May while covering an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin. Several news organizations, including CNN as well as the United Nations, published investigations into her death and concluded that the bullet that killed her was most likely fired from an Israeli soldier’s pistol. Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority handed over the bullet that killed Abu Akla to the United States. According to the Israeli army, it was examined by Israeli experts in the presence of representatives of the US army. The US State Department said it “could not come to a definitive conclusion” as to who fired the fatal bullet, but that shooting from the positions of the Israeli army “probably was responsible.”
  • Why is it important: The letter from the Abu Akle family ended with a request to Biden to “meet with us during your upcoming visit and hear from us directly about our concerns and demands for justice.” At a White House briefing Friday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she had not read the family’s letter and would not be invited to any possible meeting, but added: “We hear their concerns, we feel their pain.”

Biden defends decision to visit Saudi Arabia

Biden defended on Saturday controversial visit to Saudi Arabia later that week, saying the trip was critical to the security of the United States. “My job as President is to maintain the strength and security of our country,” Biden tweeted on Saturday. article for The Washington Post.
  • Background: The president’s visit has drawn criticism as US intelligence holds Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for ordering the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi (bin Salman denies any involvement). As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to turn the kingdom into a “rogue state.”
  • Why is it important: The trip took place when Russia’s war in Ukraine led to skyrocketing oil prices and disrupting global trade. Biden said he would focus on a more integrated and stable Middle East, calling the region “essential for global trade and the supply chains we rely on” and also pointing out how important energy supplies to the Middle East are in light of sanctions against Russia.

Iran says US-backed regional military alliance will escalate tensions

A US-backed Israeli-Arab military alliance will only exacerbate regional tensions, Iran’s foreign ministry said on Saturday as US President Joe Biden prepares to visit the Middle East.

  • BackgroundIsrael is working with regional partners on a US-led air defense alliance, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said last month. The air defense systems will protect against missiles, cruise missiles and drones, Gantz said. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said on Saturday that the plan was a “provocative move” and that Iran views it “as a threat to its national security.” according to the state news agency IRNA. Kaani added that the US is raising the issue “with the aim of sowing seeds of discord and spreading Iranophobia among the countries of the region,” IRNA added.
  • Why is it important: The US sought to reassure its Middle Eastern allies of its determination to resist attacks by Iran or its armed proxies in the region. But countries in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, have expressed concern that Iran will be emboldened if sanctions are lifted after a possible nuclear deal with Tehran.

What’s in trend

Egypt: #Unlimited_internet_in_Egypt

A social media campaign urging the Egyptian government and ISPs to offer unlimited Internet access for home services became popular, with many expressing outrage at usage quotas and slow speeds.

Major ISPs in Egypt offer limited data packages for home services with varying speeds and usage limits. Many countries in the region lifted restrictions on data transfer for home use a few years ago.

“Internet has now become our life,” the famous actor and comedian tweeted. Mohamed Henedy to his 13 million followers. “Unlimited internet is now a huge necessity in the future.”
Last week, this issue was considered by Parliament. state media reported and will be discussed among the nationwide requests.

Despite the restrictions, the country of about 100 million people has a high level of Internet penetration.

According to the World Bank that about 72% of the Egyptian population used the Internet as of 2020, when the global pandemic was at its peak. This is higher than the Internet penetration rate in Italy and China. Usage in Egypt has grown from 57% in 2019.
Earlier this year the Communications Minister Amr Talaat said that Egypt ranked first among African countries in January in terms of fixed broadband speed, citing the Ookla Speedtest Global Index report. Egypt ranks 107 in the world as of May with an average speed of 39.9 Mbps.

The ministry also said that major investments are currently being made to improve the broadband infrastructure.

Internet access was critical in Egypt before the 2011 uprisings, when online rallies played a key role in the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Tweet of the day

US Ambassador to Algeria Elizabeth Aubin found an unusual way to wish Muslims a happy Eid al-Adha over the weekend: she went to a cattle market to bargain for a sacrificial goat.

In a video posted to her Twitter account, she and her husband Daniel are seen arguing with a vendor in Algerian Arabic dressed in traditional clothing. “She’s in charge,” Daniel shrugs when the ambassador insists on buying a horned goat.

Eid al-Adha, which falls on Saturday, is celebrated by Muslims by sacrificing animals for distribution to the poor.