U.S. president will visit Israel despite political uncertainty.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
U.S. President Joe Biden is slated to touch down in Israel in mid-July, despite the expected disbandment of the Knesset, during a tour to the region, the American Ambassador to Israel confirmed on Monday.
“President Biden’s trip to Israel will happen as planned,” Ambassador Tom Nides told Axios journalist Barak Ravid. “As we have said, he is coming for the Israeli people.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Israel confirmed Nides’ remarks in a statement, saying that “we have a strategic relationship with Israel that goes beyond any one government. The President looks forward to the visit next month.”
American presidents and other senior government officials generally avoid visiting Israel during times of political uncertainty.
Biden was originally meant to visit Israel in early June, but the shaky coalition appearing to be on the brink of collapse is largely believed to be a reason why he postponed his trip.
Addressing rumors of the impending government collapse putting the brakes on Biden’s visit, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told Hebrew language media last week that he was confident the president would come to Israel, regardless of the political situation.
“The president will be here, no matter what,” Lapid said.
“The president’s relationship with Israel is way more important, significant and long-lasting than any political event. The U.S. is our greatest ally and the most important partnership and friendship we have.”
Lapid is set to assume the role of caretaker prime minister until the next elections in the coming days, meaning that it’s likely he would meet with Biden during his time in the Jewish State.
Due to his role as head of the opposition, Biden will also likely sit down with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden is expected to touch down in Israel on July 13, during a tour of the region which includes meetings with Palestinian and Saudi leaders.
Biden reportedly plans to pay a provocative visit to eastern Jerusalem unescorted by Israelis.
No U.S. president has ever visited any area of Jerusalem unaccompanied by Israeli officials and such a visit would undermine Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part of the city. It’s widely believed Biden will visit the Al Makassed Hospital on the Mount of Olives.