Ex-Envoy: Bennett to Stress Israel’s Hard Line on Iran in DC, Even if It’s Not to Biden’s Liking

It will be hard to convince Joe Biden’s team that Iran’s conduct has been contradicting American and regional interests, says a former Israeli diplomat. But Prime Minister Bennett will make sure to stress that his country has the right to defend itself, even if the move is not backed by Washington.

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to travel to Washington, DC, for a state visit that is slated to take place later this month, although an official date hasn’t been set yet.

Iran on the Radar

This will be Bennett’s first foreign trip, and probably one of his most important. Yoram Ettinger, a former ambassador, who served as a congressional affairs liaison at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, assesses that the meeting between the two politicians will focus primarily on Iran.

Ettinger says Iran’s “actual track record” is well-known. For him, it is a state that “agitates” civil wars in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. It is a country that maintains friendly relations with players that have been challenging the US, and it is a “regime” that’s close to Lebanon’s Shiite militia Hezbollah and the head of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, deemed terrorist entities by israel.

Yet, Ettinger says Bennett might find it hard to assure those surrounding Biden, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that backing Iran is a bad idea. Neither will he be able to convince them that the current negotiations Washington is holding with Iran might…

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