"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," says the first line in A Tale of Two Cities, and whilst originally written about London and Paris it sure seems to be the case for Washington and Jerusalem.
It was the best of times for the U.S.-Israel relations: Israeli President Isaac Herzog is welcomed in the White House by the leaders of the free world, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who reaffirmed the United States' long standing support for Israel and its security and prosperity. President Herzog and Vice President Harris launched a joint climate action initiative, designed to scale the Israeli experience in water desalination throughout the middle east and north Africa, thus promoting not just access to water but international cooperation, understanding, and eventually peace. At the U.S. congress, President Herzog delivered an outstanding speech about Israel's vibrant democracy, receiving standing ovations from hundreds of U.S. Lawmakers, hours after the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution of support for Israel.
It was the worst of times for the U.S.-Israel relations: the U.S. President clearly said that he is concerned about the "stability and future" of Israel, given the judicial coup taking place. Israel's Prime Minister is not, and will not be, invited to the White House, thanks to the concerns of the administration about the legislation and its negative implications on Israeli democracy, "the core" of the U.S.-Israel relations according to the President. Outside the U.S. Government, the Brookings Institute published a new research, according to which no less than 10% of Americans don't see attitudes against Jews as Antisemitism (and 31% "don't know"), and 12% of Americans hold a negative impression of Zionism.
But we need to look beyond the current week. The U.S.-Israel relations are more than just a White House meeting, a speech or a poll: Israel is rapidly changing, and so is America. And whilst our relations with conservatives in the U.S. are good (some may say, too good), we can definitely be better when it comes to American liberals.
President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the vast majority of Democratic leaders are true friends of Israel, longtime allies for Israel's pursuit for peace and justice - it is the future generation of leaders that we need to reach out to, provide a liberal narrative for Israel that they can relate with, and work together on social justice issues: god knows Israel has a ton of work to do on climate action, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice and plenty other issues - and so does America. It only makes sense to work together.