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Biden visit offers Israel's Lapid secure platform to address Palestinian issue

The American pressure on Israel to make goodwill gestures to the Palestinians before President Joe Biden arrived empowered Prime Minister Yair Lapid to advance steps that would otherwise have been difficult for him to take.
Kobi Gideon/GPO

US President Joe Biden's arrival to Jerusalem today, two weeks after Prime Minister Yair Lapid took office and less than four months before the Nov. 1 elections, offers Lapid an opportunity to position himself as a world leader. Biden's words reinforcing the US commitment to Israel’s security also benefit Lapid politically, as Israeli voters are traditionally very attentive to security issues.

From Israel, Biden will fly to Saudi Arabia, where he might announce an agreement between Jerusalem and Riyadh on control over two islands in the Straits of Tiran. If such an agreement is not concluded in time for the visit, other Saudi steps signaling rapprochement with Israel could be publicized. From Lapid’s point of view, any steps in the direction of normalization with Saudi Arabia would further reinforce his status as head of Israel's center camp and assist his government capitalize on the Abraham Accords.

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