JERUSALEM – As we approach the dawn of 2021 and a brand new administration in Washington, everyone I am talking to here in Israel and throughout the Arab world is asking how President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will approach the Middle East when they enter office.
Among the questions I am hearing:
Given how passionately pro-Israel President Donald Trump has been – especially compared to how cold and contentious the U.S.-Israel relationship was during the Obama years – will Biden follow the Obama model? Should we expect another train wreck between the U.S. and Israel? Or will Biden chart a different path?
Biden has promised to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal – but is he really serious? Doesn’t he see how dangerous the regime in Tehran is becoming? Is it possible the Biden White House will make new demands of Iran?
Trump forged four peace deals between Israel and her Arab neighbors in the past four months – will Biden be able and willing to continue adding countries to the Abraham Accords, or is the peace process likely to get bogged down?
To get some insights into these and similar questions – including the future of U.S. relations with the Palestinians – I did a series of three interviews via Zoom for ALL ISRAEL NEWS with David Makovsky, a leading Middle East expert based in Washington who knows Biden and his inner circle exceptionally well.
Makovsky is the co-author of a brilliant, must-read book – Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny – that I absolutely loved and have bought as a Hanukkah and Christmas present for many friends. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
What’s more, Makovsky is the host of fabulous podcast called “Decision Points,” that looks at key moments in the U.S.-Israel relationship, often incorporating Makovsky’s insightful and intriguing interviews with senior U.S., Israel and Arab officials and policymakers that played critical roles in various pivotal moments, the hinges of history.
“Decision Points” has become my favorite podcast dealing with the Middle East and North Africa, and I commend it to your attention.
That said, here is part one of my conversation with David Makovsky – this one about what we should expect from the incoming Biden-Harris administration – and I hope you’ll find it as interesting as I did.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.