The Israeli public prepares for travel disruptions in getting to work or reaching family summer vacation destinations as the July 13th three-day visit of U.S. President Joe Biden nears. Major arteries will be closed to public traffic as a convoy of 80 vehicles will accompany the president and 16,000 local police officers will be deployed.
After Biden lands and walks a red carpet flanked by the military honor guard accompanied by an orchestral welcome, he will begin his planned visit without wasting a moment.
The U.S. president’s main goal for his trip to the Middle East, with visits to Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil-producing countries in the Persian Gulf, is to increase the amount of oil and natural gas they export to the world market in order to lower the high prices that the war in Eastern Europe is causing around the world.
If he succeeds, the White House will be able to rescue Europe from the energy crisis it has been plunged into by the war in Ukraine. This will lead to a drop-in oil and gas prices and will dampen inflation in the U.S. in the run-up to the American midterm elections this November.
To position America as a major player, Biden wants to strengthen relations between Europe and Ukraine and establish closer ties between NATO, Ukraine and other European countries.
The United States must come to grips with the huge impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, while Europe is still grappling with digesting the fact that the war is approaching in giant strides. The United States has no other choice and is obliged to order and deliver what the Russians delivered in the past to Europe, otherwise the continent will not survive the cold winter.
The move is much more complex than it seems. It is not just a matter of coming and signing papers. There is no solution to the conflict in sight, and a prominent figure like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was recently forced to resign, will not be able to act now in favor of Western Europe.
It is difficult to predict how successful President Biden will be in his mission, he is not a strong leader and no one guarantees that he will achieve what is expected from this visit. At first glance, everything may turn out well, but only in the long run will we know to what extent the visit might lead to significant change.
For Israel, Biden’s visit is particularly important in taking a clear stand against Iranian hostilities in the Middle East. Unfortunately, even a regional alliance between Israel and wealthy Saudi Arabia will not be able to stop Iran from using nuclear weapons. No country will be able to stop the Persian madness. Saudi Arabia will certainly benefit from such cooperation, because Israel is strong in arms and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aspires to rise in the international arena.
In the longer term, we will find that peace in the Middle East depends on Israel. Not in terms of military or technological capabilities, not in terms of political relations, but in terms of internal peace ties between us. As Rav Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in pre-state Israel and one of the most significant figures in the history of the Jewish people, wrote: “In Israel is the secret to the unity of the world” (Orot HaKodesh).