On video: Chaos in the Knesset: MKs from the opposition shout "weak weak" and interrupt Netanyahu's speech (Knesset Channel)
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan plans to visit Jerusalem in mid-January for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli officials regarding the new government's policy, so they told Walla!
Five senior Israeli and American officials.
why is it important
The Biden administration is concerned about the new government's policy in Israel on the Palestinian issue and especially in regards to the steps to expand the settlements and the training of illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank.
But, the Biden administration is also concerned about measures that the new government might take that would challenge democratic values, such as laws that would harm the rights of the Arab minority and the LGBT community or limit the independence of the judicial system.
The White House is worried.
Biden and Netanyahu (photo: official website, Raanan Cohen)
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in the news center
Senior Israeli officials said that the plan at this stage is for Sullivan to be the first American senior official to arrive in Israel after the new government takes office.
They added that a visit by the foreign minister to Lincoln is expected to take place not long after.
Sullivan is expected to meet with Netanyahu and the incoming National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.
Sullivan is also expected to meet with the new Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, whom he knows from the time when Dermer served as the United States ambassador in Washington.
The Israeli officials added that Sullivan's visit is expected to start the talks that should take place between the American administration and the new government in Israel in preparation for a possible visit by Netanyahu to the White House in February.
The big picture
In his speech in the Knesset before the swearing in of the government, Netanyahu set two main goals - stopping Iran's nuclear program and adding more Arab countries to the Abraham Accords, first and foremost Saudi Arabia.
The impasse in the nuclear talks with Iran, Iranian military aid to Russia and the violent suppression of the popular protest by the Iranian regime brought the positions of Biden and Netanyahu very close on this issue and created an opportunity for increased Israeli-American cooperation against Iran.
On the other hand, the strained relations between Washington and Riyadh will make it very difficult for Netanyahu to mobilize the Biden administration for his attempt to reach a political breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.
what are they saying
The White House declined to comment on Sullivan's possible visit to Israel.
United States Secretary of State Tony Blinken emphasized in a message he published early Friday morning following the swearing in of the new government in Israel, that the Biden administration will oppose policies that would jeopardize the ability to implement the two-state solution and would be in conflict with the common interests of Israel and the United States.
Blinken's announcement echoed similar words President Biden said yesterday.
between the lines
Biden's and Blinken's announcements outline the principles of "do's and don'ts" on the part of the United States towards the new government in Israel and signal that making moves that contradict these principles will lead to conflict between the parties.
The White House