Will US policy on Israel take center stage in final Trump-Biden debate?

The final presidential debate could thrust foreign policy back into campaign.

By Associated Press

To date, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s foreign policy credentials have largely been overshadowed by questions about how he would lead the U.S. through the worst pandemic in a century. But the issue could reemerge Thursday as President Donald Trump and Biden take the stage for a final debate, with a topic list including national security.

Trump is expected to tout his “America First” doctrine, which he says ended an era of other nations taking advantage of the United States.

Trump’s victories include helping cement diplomatic ties between Israel and two Arab neighbors, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with Sudan on the verge of announcing ties with the Jewish state.

The latest Middle East deals are historic steps.

Meanwhile, Biden has he would recommit to the Paris accords while rejoining WHO and restoring its U.S. financial support. He’s pledged to reverse Trump’s executive actions limiting travel from certain Muslim nations and curtailing the U.S. asylum program for refugees.

In the Middle East, Biden has said he’d recommit to an Iran nuclear deal that Israel opposes strongly in light of the Islamic Republic’s covert program to develop nuclear weapons.

Biden says he wouldn’t reverse Trump’s move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the nation’s capital, Jerusalem. He did, however, criticize the move as giving away leverage in the push for a two-state solution between the Palestinians and Israel. Biden has pledged to open a U.S. consulate in a Palestinian-controlled area of Jerusalem.

Trump’s loudest foreign policy pitch, however, may be casting Biden as corrupt because of his son Hunter’s business associations in Ukraine and China.

The president has promoted an unconfirmed New York Post report published last week that cites an email in which an official from Ukrainian gas company Burisma thanked Hunter Biden, who served on the company’s board, for arranging for him to meet Joe Biden during a 2015 visit to Washington. The Biden campaign has rejected Trump’s assertion of wrongdoing and noted that Biden’s schedule did not show a meeting with the Burisma official.