After lengthy deliberations, the White House announced June 14 that President Joe Biden would visit Israel in a month. The details had been ironed out with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his people. However, when Biden disembarks from Air Force One at Ben-Gurion Airport July 13, a different prime minister will be waiting to greet him. His name is Yair Lapid, currently foreign minister and alternate prime minister to Bennett.
Such are the vagaries of Israel’s political system, one of the most convoluted in the world. Were Biden to return for another visit in the fall, he could well be meeting with still another prime minister, perhaps someone he has met before, such as Bennett’s predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, or wannabe Prime Minister and current Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Israelis always want to be world leaders in every field, and their ridiculously complex political system fits the bill.