Given challenges such as Iran, Russia, and the Palestinians, distancing from Israel is not a serious option for the U.S.
Why Israel Remains an Important Ally
Israel remains a key ally due to its intelligence capabilities and political significance in the U.S. Biden's focus on shifting to Asia also relies on maintaining good terms with Israeli leaders and improving ties with Arab states in the volatile Middle East.
Diplomacy in the New Reality
The Biden administration is cautious with its approach to the new government, avoiding confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, downplaying the importance of visits, and hoping diplomacy can reduce tensions. However, the new government is dotted with religious zealots with antipathy toward Arabs and the LGBTQ+ community.
Key Issues to Tackle
Blinken's visit is not just for meet-and-greets, as Iran and its nuclear deal are major topics. Israel views Iran as an existential threat and has opposed the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. is working to strengthen ties between Israel and Arab countries through the Abraham Accords, hoping for a bulwark against Iran. Israel's enmity with Iran is also affecting its policy toward Russia's war on Ukraine, and Blinken is pushing Israel to help Ukraine.