But Gilad Erdan, the new ambassador, does not appear rattled.
“Not every disagreement should lead to a crisis,” Erdan said in an interview with The Washington Post.
“Our bond with the United States of America and our shared values and interests are so deep and strong that sometimes we can agree to disagree,” Erdan said in the interview, his first with a U.S. publication since becoming ambassador to Washington.
But the new administration will present a marked contrast from what came before.
Trump called himself the most pro-Israel president ever, and courted an unusually close relationship with Netanyahu.
Israel returned the favor, naming a neighborhood, train station and more in his honor.
Biden also calls himself proudly pro-Israel. He has welcomed the diplomatic breakthroughs and is unlikely to reverse Trump’s other moves.
But he is unlikely to show Israel as much deference as Trump, particularly when it comes to Iran. At the same time, he is likely to deal with Israel differently than his old boss.
“Biden is not [Barack] Obama,” said Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Unlike Obama, Biden grew up in a political time when being quote-unquote ‘good on Israel’ was not only expedient in one’s political career, but it was viewed as an ethical and moral position.
“Biden is not looking for a fight,” he added. “But at the same time, he is going to pursue policies that are almost certain to annoy and aggravate Netanyahu.”
The deal caused a breach between Israel and the Obama administration at the time.
And Israel’s view has only hardened that the agreement is too narrow, riddled with loopholes and was negotiated in bad faith by Tehran. Netanyahu and other Israeli officials accuse Iran of using money that flowed from the deal to finance terrorism and extremism that targets Israel.
“We’ll do everything to convince the administration of our views, because in Israel, unfortunately, we are the first to be threatened by the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime,” Erdan said.
The Biden administration, preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, has signaled that it may not hurry to rejoin the deal Trump left in 2018, and might wait for Iran to make a significant first move.
But Israel’s leaders are warily eyeing other Biden senior foreign policy picks, especially Wendy Sherman, who was the lead U.S. negotiator for the 2015 agreement, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, who helped initiate secret contacts with Iran that led to full negotiations.
Biden could also try to jump-start a return to the deal or broach an interim agreement over Israel’s objections, but would have only a short window to do so before Iran is preoccupied with its own elections this year, said Cailin Birch, a global economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Biden has “been unequivocal in his stance that he’d like to reengage with Iran and he sees an imperfect deal as less…
Go to the news source: New Israel ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan on the Biden administration and th…