This Thanksgiving week, The Times of Israel’s founding editor David Horovitz, senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur, and US correspondent Jacob Magid join deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan to speak about the Israeli-American relationship vis a vis the outgoing Trump and incoming Biden administrations.
The full conversation can be seen now as part of the Behind the Headlines video series exclusively screened for members of The Times of Israel Community or heard on The Times of Israel Podcast. (Join the Community here.)
In the spirit of the North American holiday, we’ll talk about what Israelis are grateful for after the four years of the Trump administration. Just prior to the November 3 election, an Israel Democracy Institute survey found that 70 percent of Israeli Jews felt that Republican incumbent Trump was the preferred candidate, “from the standpoint of Israel’s interests,” over the eventual President-elect Joe Biden.
Asked for one thing that Israeli Jews may be grateful for under the Trump administration, Rettig Gur says, “One single thing? Just about anything Netanyahu asked of him — Jerusalem, Golan, pulling out of the Iran deal, pretty much being an open door for Israel’s needs over the last four years.”
Asked if this “generosity” has caused a waning of bipartisan support throughout the US government for the Jewish state, Horovitz says “both Trump and Netanyahu made it easier than it otherwise would have been for people to suggest that the cause of Israel is a partisan cause.” But this is taking place, says Horovitz, in an era in which the “notion of bipartisanship” in America on anything is difficult to sustain.
“We deserve to be a bipartisan cause, we’re on the frontline against some really bad people. It’s a joint, reciprocal Israeli-American interest that this relationship be strong and bipartisan. And we should probably be grateful that the pendulum, when it has swung in America, has now swung to somebody who knows Israel pretty well, who has defined himself in the past as a Zionist,” says Horovitz.
Magid discusses the popular US Jewish reception to Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the few Biden staff names that have been released. (Spoiler: Borschel-Dan reveals what she has in common with Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain.)
The panel speaks to Israeli concerns over the stated Biden intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal, as well as chances for additional peace agreements in the new Middle East.
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