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Israel Needs to Watch Biden’s UN Pick
‘A good choice for Biden. Works for Israel.’ Antonio Villaraigosa (Frederick Manligas Nacino - Opusdeiphotography/Wikimedia Commons)

Israel Needs to Watch Biden’s UN Pick

US President-elect Joe Biden reflects the orthodoxy of the “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He is a committed, enthusiastic proponent of this idea as a way forward in the Middle East.

There is a competing political paradigm – “racial-justice politics” – that has gained, if not dominance, at the very least great influence with liberal and left-wing thinkers in America. This new politics, with its ideological base anchored in postmodernism and neo-Marxism, is powered by intersectionality and identity politics.

Inside the Democratic Party, it has garnered considerable authority and leverage. It has also made its way into mainstream American culture: From Hollywood to Twitter and Facebook, it is simply swimming in the American social and cultural mainstream.

Racial-justice politics has a particular Israel problem, and its Israel problem is expressed openly. It presents Israel through an ideological prism, arguing that it is a colonial enterprise, an outpost of Western imperialism in an overwhelmingly Muslim Middle East.

The prominence of the new political paradigm presents a difficult problem for President-elect Biden. Historically, he has rejected this reference system. But as president, he will feel intense pressure to please his left wing and gratify its convictions about Israel.

The prominence of the new political paradigm presents a difficult problem for President-elect Biden. Historically, he has rejected this reference system. But as president, he will feel intense pressure to please his left wing and gratify its convictions about Israel.

The question for Israel and today’s Israeli leaders is how well a President Biden manages the pressure coming from adherents of the new politics.

As the Democratic Party’s nominee, he was successful in rebuffing the new-politics radicals who wanted an anti-Israel statement in the 2020 Democratic Party Platform. His two-state views prevailed, and the platform calls for the creation of a “viable” Palestinian state and explicitly opposes “unilateral action” from either side.

The UN will be a significant test as to how well he continues to juggle the demands of the new politics, for the person President Biden appoints as ambassador will give us a clue.

If he were to appoint say, former two-term mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, a popular, highly regarded and nationally prominent Latino leader, the news would be extremely well received in Israel. Villaraigosa knows Israel and is an outspoken friend.

A good choice for Biden. Works for Israel.

A good choice for Biden. Works for Israel.

But what if Biden were to choose Pete Buttigieg? The first gay UN ambassador checks some boxes.

Israeli leaders might find Mayor Pete credible. Buttigieg has been to Israel a number of times. In the past, he spoke favorably about the Jewish state. During the campaign, he became wobbly, striking out at Bibi.

But still, he’d likely be satisfactory. Good for Biden. Okay for Israel.

Or, Biden could choose Susan Rice or, say, Stacey Abrams. That would send a negative signal.

How well will a President Biden stand up to the radical pressure? Keep an eye on what happens with the UN appointment.

The author of this blog or other opinion piece is a third-party contributor who is independent of The Media Line Ltd and its partners or supporters. All assertions, opinions, facts, and information presented in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and are not necessarily those of The Media Line and/or all parties related thereto, none of whom assumes any responsibility for its content.

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Did you know we’re celebrating our 20th Anniversary as the 1st American News Agency exclusively covering the Middle East?

  • The Middle East landscape is changing rapidly.
  • The roads in the region open to new possibilities.
  • The Media Line continues to pave the way to a far greater understanding of the region’s land, people, policies and governments through our trusted, fact-based news.

We’re an independent, ad-free, non-profit news agency and rely on friends like you!

Please make your gift today as we have a most generous matching 2:1 grant.
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