Another day and still no phone call

What can be keeping Joe Biden from phoning Israel's Prime Minister? Opinion

Barry Shaw ,

rotary telephone (illustration)
rotary telephone (illustration)
iStock

Another day and still no phone call from Biden to Israel.

He has called his southern and northern neighbors. He has called a host of European leaders. He has even called America's Asian allies. But not Israel, America's greatest ally, traditionally.

This has caused much debate and speculation on the Israeli media.

My take on this issue is that Biden does not control his own schedule. This is done by key staffers in the White House who fix his daily agenda. And a number of those staffers have a particular anti-Israel bent.

One would have thought that Biden, a politician for over half a century, would be aware of the faux pas, but apparently he is not up to dictating the need to put certain priorities in place and demand a rescheduling to call Israel's Prime Minister.

Either that or he is making a profound, and negative, unspoken statement of cutting Israel down to size by fundamentally putting Israel lower down the pecking order to the same level as, say, the Palestinians.

My prediction is that Biden will call Mahmoud Abbas on the same day he calls Benjamin Netanyahu, and probably straight after his call to Jerusalem.

This in itself will be a statement of sorts, and not in Israel's favor.

Barry Shaw is Senior Associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies



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