The Unraveling: Netanyahu’s Long-Brewing Break with Biden and the Democrats
Following years of strained relations, the split between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Democratic Party, led by President Joe Biden, has come to a head in recent times. The divergence in political ideologies and approaches to key issues has fueled the deterioration of their once close ties, culminating in a public fallout that was years in the making. Netanyahu's tenure as Prime Minister, spanning over a decade, has been marked by a conservative and hawkish stance on a range of issues, including Israeli security, settlements in the West Bank, and the Iranian nuclear threat. His uncompromising approach has often put him at odds with the Democratic Party, which has historically supported a more diplomatic and multilateral approach to foreign policy. The Obama administration's pursuit of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 served as a major point of contention between Netanyahu and the Democrats. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the deal, viewing it as a threat to Israel's security, while the Obama administration saw it as a crucial step towards preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Netanyahu's controversial address to the U.S. Congress, without consulting the White House, further strained relations with the Democrats. The election of Joe Biden as President in 2020 was initially seen as an opportunity to reset relations between the U.S. and Israel. However, tensions between the two leaders quickly resurfaced over issues such as Israeli settlement expansion, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the approach to Iran. Biden's support for a two-state solution and a more balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clashed with Netanyahu's hardline stance, leading to further friction. Netanyahu’s close alignment with former President Donald Trump also contributed to the rift with the Democrats. Trump's controversial decisions, such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, were strongly supported by Netanyahu but deeply opposed by many Democrats. The partisan divide over these issues exacerbated the already strained relationship between Netanyahu and the Democrats. As Netanyahu faces internal political challenges in Israel, including corruption charges and a fractious coalition government, his alignment with the Republican Party and strained relations with the Democrats have left him increasingly isolated on the international stage. The split with Biden and the Democrats, which was years in the making, underscores the broader shift in U.S.-Israeli relations and the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in the Middle East.