Rotem A. Oreg
"Israel is Our Friend" (President Joe Biden")
Israel is our friend.
Of all the pictures of President Biden's visit to Israel, that's the one I'll remember - the President of the United States, the most powerful person on earth, kneels in respect of holocaust survivors, listening to their stories, swearing to never let the atrocities of the past happen again. When was the last time you saw a U.S. President kneels?
No American politician is more familiar with Israel, its challenges and its needs than Joe Biden. His visit in the last couple of days to Israel was a powerful demonstration of his - and of the United States' - commitment to Israel's security, prosperity and very existence as a Jewish-democratic state.
There were plenty of positive outcomes to that visit, but we would like to focus on two of them: Biden and Prime Minister Lapid's signing a memorandum to fortify cooperation on cutting-edge technologies, health, and the environment; and the leaders' commitment to ensure freedom, democracy, and prosperity to all people of the region.
The first would enhance the U.S.-Israel cooperation on civilian agendas, crucial to the U.S. strategic competition with China; to our ability to identify and respond to the next global pandemic; and to ensure the survival of the human race on this planet. The second makes sure that we do not forget that even as a solution seems unlikely in the coming years we are still committed to Israeli-Palestinian peace.
In an interview with Yonit Levy, when asked about the voices in the Democratic party calling to limit the cooperation with Israel, the President responded with "they are few and they are wrong". He emphasized that Israel is a friend and an ally to the United States, and that he doesn't see a scenario in which his party drifts away from Israel. While he is right, the latter part of his words is not a given outcome, but contingent on our work: it is our responsibility, as liberal Israelis, to make sure that the Democratic party doesn't drift from Israel - and the other way around.
Expanding our partnership on climate, health and technology is one way. Committing to peace and promoting confidence-building measures, as Israel did, is another way. So is building coalitions of liberal Israelis and Americans, activists, NGOs, and leaders, which is exactly what the Israeli-Democratic Alliance is doing these days - and we can assure you, there's definitely what to wait for!