Israeli Schism -- The contagion spreads to US
Biden won’t invite Netanyahu to the White House, but now McCarthy has invited Bibi to Washington, poking Biden and the Democrats hard in the eye. Yet again, Biden and the Dems are being bypassed on foreign policy not by China, this time, but worse...
Is Netanyahu sincere in seeking a White House visit to try to project a calmer, ‘business as usual tint’ to Israeli public affairs? Is he hoping to shift international focus away from the unending protest ‘optic’, back to Iran?
But does Netanyahu really think he can ‘charm back’ Biden? That seems a forlorn hope. The Administration backs the protests -- and succours his coalition enemies.
The protest movement in "Israel" (and some in Washington) may believe (and hope) it has already won the battle to scupper judicial reform. There is ‘suspension of legislation’, but as one Israeli cynic puts it, this ‘pause’ may turn out to be all smoke and mirrors.
Most of the constitutional amendments already have been drafted - and await a second and third Knesset vote. This means they can be enacted by a simple majority within hours of a decision, once the Knesset reconvenes next week or by the July recess at the latest.
Talks at the Israeli President’s Residence continue, but with the ‘sides’ so divided -- even on what it is that "Israel" ‘is’; what it is that constitutes the notion of ‘Jewishness’, or its vision for the future -- that ‘compromise’ would seem to portend an outcome little more than ephemeral, at best.
Yet, Netanyahu ‘getting the focus back to Iran’ will not endear the PM to the White House. General Mark Milley has said that the US remains committed that Iran “will not have fielded nuclear weapons”.
What does ‘fielded’ mean? Well, it means that the US tacitly accepts that Iran sits at ‘threshold’ status; and that it shows no sign of crossing the weapons-status ‘line’. This US shift (and shift, it is) if anything, further complicates Netanyahu’s relations with Biden.
For, even if the White House positively hates the prospect, they can nonetheless see how China’s mediation (and guarantee) for the Iran-Saudi Accord has re-set the regional geo-strategic ‘geography’. Iran is no longer ‘pariah’: It is normalised. Iran and Saudi both have exchanged security assurances with each other, under Chinese oversight, with the sequellae to this accord ‘going virtual’ across the region and beyond.
So in effect, Netanyahu has no Iran policy, or at least none remotely acceptable to the White House. His constant refrain of Iran ‘warnings’ have become more an irritant, than any compelling reason for an invite to the White House.
In any event, Netanyahu’s earlier virulent campaign against the Obama-Biden JCPOA has not been forgotten. It has left a legacy of rancorous memories amongst Democrats.
And Netanyahu has dug the ‘hole he is in’ even deeper: He entertained House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, on the latter’s recent visit to "Israel".
McCarthy was only the second Speaker to address the Knesset. Afterwards, McCarthy said, if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t invited to Washington [by Biden], “I’ll invite the prime minister to come ‘meet with the House’. An invitation now has been extended to Netanyahu to come to the US Congress.
Gasoline poured onto fire! Biden hasn’t, and won’t, speak to McCarthy. He is ‘toxic’ to Team Biden because of his hard-line stance on lifting the US debt ceiling.
Biden won’t invite Netanyahu to the White House, but now McCarthy has invited Bibi to Washington, poking Biden and the Democrats hard in the eye. Yet again, Biden and the Dems are being bypassed on foreign policy not by China, this time, but worse: by a man seen to be sympathetic to Trump and the MAGA constituencyو and thus the embodiment of the US political enemy ‘Other’ in the eyes of the Biden White House.
This has ‘dark overtones’ for Biden: It reeks of Netanyahu’s earlier (1998) so-called ‘replacement theory’: Disengage from the Democrats, align with the right wing of the Republican Party, dispense with bipartisanship, and deliberately turn "Israel" into a US partisan wedge issue.
After McCarthy being treated to Biden’s contemptuous silence since his election as Speaker, the Republicans might just be ‘up’ for a more confrontational approach on "Israel". The US’ (once monolithic) public stance on "Israel" is fracturing and becoming more factious on the Israeli issue, giving scope for the GOP to make political capital.
Again, the point here is that the fractures apparent within many ًWestern societies seem to be spiralling into a vicious circle of divisions across other distinct dimensions: One may think ‘G20’ in this context.