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The Political Fog in the US Presents Israel With a Complicated Task

The Political Fog in the US Presents Israel With a Complicated Task

Ma’ariv, Israel, July 26

As the days pass, the possibility increases that Joe Biden and Donald Trump will not be the candidates in the 2024 elections. Trump because of the congressional investigations into his role in the events of January 6, 2021, when violent crowds broke into the Capitol building, and also because, as polls show, about half of Republican voters prefer another candidate in his place. There is at least one Republican politician, such as popular Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who poses a concrete threat to his leadership. Despite the fact that incumbent President Biden already announced that he will run in the 2024 elections, a survey by The New York Times indicated that 64% of potential Democratic voters prefer another candidate in his place, and only about a third of the American public as a whole expresses confidence in his leadership ability. This is also the opinion of the majority of independent voters who may determine the election results. The main cause of doubts about Biden, in addition to the discomfort with the general state of the United States and in particular the economic issue, is his advanced age; on Election Day he will be 82 years old. If he is re-elected, at the end of his term he will be 86 years old, even though in practice there are no signs of deterioration in his health or cognitive capacity, the image among large parts of the public is different. Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats at this stage don’t have any serious alternative candidates to Biden, and the position of his deputy, Kamala Harris, is even inferior to his own. The only potential alternatives hail from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, with figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who aspires to establish a socialist regime in the United States. Among the prominent hallmarks of these left-wing groups are the demand for the abolition of the police, the removal of all barriers to immigration, a radical change in school and university curricula, the disqualification of teachers and lecturers who do not follow suit, and the taking of draconian measures against the rules of the free economy and those active in it. In the field of foreign policy and security, the tendency of most of them is separatist, and they demand cuts in military budgets and the reduction of American interests overseas. Most of them, and in particular the leading figures, take anti-Israel and sometimes extreme anti-Semitic positions and, in doing so, assist the left-wing Jewish organization J Street, which presents itself as pro-Israel, but in practice serves the goals of Israel’s opponents, including Iran. According to The New York Times, the confrontation between Israel’s supporters in the Democratic Party and its opponents on the Left has become one of the main disputes in the campaign for the upcoming midterm elections. The goal of the Left is to take over the leadership of the party or at least gain enough power to dictate its platform and operational plans. From this point of view, the primary elections in the party will be pivotal in determining the internal division between Left and Center for years to come. But it turns out that, contrary to predictions, a considerable portion of the American public opposes the radical Left’s positions on matters related to law and order, immigration and education. In some of the recent races, the supporters of Israel even gained the upper hand. As one of the headlines in the Economist recently read: “The Democrats have begun to understand that they must moderate – or die.” Although the last word has not yet been said, this is good news from Israel’s point of view. Yet the race for the presidency is still ahead of us, and this requires very wise diplomacy in the coming years, and even in the coming months. Every government in Israel rightly tries to align itself with the current administration, but we must also refrain from exaggerating unnecessarily as the current government sometimes does. The task now facing Israel is particularly complicated: it must cultivate relationships with potential candidates in both parties, without harming the relationship with the current leaders who, despite the polls, are still at the head of their parties, and may even retain their status. – Zalman Shoval (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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