The economic crisis and the waves of violence in the United States will have ramifications for the whole world. Should this worry Israel? Israel should not focus only on the question, “Is Biden good for Israel?”
The distance and the preoccupation with troubles at home prevent us from grasping the depth of the American tragedy and the breadth of the dangers that stand before the United States and American society these days.
The consistent refusal of outgoing president Donald Trump to accept the results of the election, the hundreds of mendacious and inciting messages that were spread around daily by social media, and especially the path of incitement that led crowds to Capitol Hill — all this will continue to influence American society long after the swearing in of Joe Biden.
Reliable sources in the United States report that there is a well-organized underground that continues to work below the radar and plan its next steps. This violence threatens the basis of democracy in the United States. It seems that there are those who fear for the life of the new president, for the lives of his staff and of those members of Congress who are trying to impeach Trump.
This situation should worry the Israeli public, which is currently focused only on the question, “Is Biden good for Israel?”
Anyone who has followed Biden’s long career, since his days as a young senator until today, knows that he is a true friend of Israel. One way or the other, any government that is assembled in Israel after the election will have to work hard to repair relationships with the Democratic Party. The fact that Biden is a friend does not mean that he has to fulfill every one of Israel’s wishes and to realize all of her dreams.
There are many problems piled up on the president’s desk, problems that require quick and decisive action. First of all, the rift with the American people has to be mended, as much as possible. Trumpism will continue after Trump. Foreign policy issues, such as the climate crisis, relationships with China and Russia, the Iranian nuclear program and problems with the Middle East — all of these will have to wait for better days. Those of us who believe that a just solution to the conflict between us and the Palestinians is essential and even necessary for a broadening of ties with the Arab world will have to wait patiently.
The cabinet, which is responsible for various areas of activity, includes a number of friends of Israel, and when the time comes we can assume that Israel will return to the table for discussion, as part of an American foreign policy that is more sane, more fair and more in line with international norms. Until then we hope that the world consensus regarding the two-state solution will lead to a strengthening of the supporters of peace among Israelis and Palestinians. And in the meantime, let’s pray for peace in America.
The writer, Colette Avital, was a Knesset member and is a former senior diplomat, a member of the steering committee of the Geneva Convention.