Israelis and Palestinians Remain Fixed on US Election Results
Although foreign policy issues played a very small role in America’s national election debate, Israelis, Palestinians and other Middle Easterners remain fixed on the results of the presidential election and key Senate and House races. Absent from media coverage during the campaign were the usual chestnuts like “we’ll work with anyone” and “it’s up to Americans to choose their leaders.” Politicians in the Middle East have left no doubt where their sympathies lie. At the top of the political totem pole, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is no doubt hoping his refusal to trash contender Joe Biden in a phone call with President Donald Trump will serve as a fig leaf if the Democratic nominee is successful. In Ramallah, Palestinian leaders who had decided to suspend cooperation with the United States have been unambiguous in their hopes for President Trump’s defeat. Former ambassador to Israel and Egypt Daniel Kurtzer told The Media Line to expect a return to the controversial Iranian nuclear deal from which President Trump withdrew the US. Leaders of the Gulf States are watching closely for some indication of what a Biden victory would mean for the blockbuster Abraham Accords that swept onto the scene with reconciliation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman expressed concern in an interview with The Media Line that the rapprochement could be upset by a change in administration. But critics of Team Trump assert that the deals are absent of values and rife with [arms] sales to “the highest bidder.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the Senate’s most vociferous voices for Israel, won his aggressively-contested race while in the House, the anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian members known as “The Squad” were successful.