Posted on: December 17, 2020 Posted by: Mitchell Plitnick Comments: 0

Joe Biden is, hopefully, being reminded from every corner that the White House he will be going into in 2021 is a very different one than the one he left in 2017. While he seems unlikely to put too much energy into Israel-Palestine, certainly in his early days in office, he needs to understand that even with familiar players there, things have changed dramatically.

Benjamin Netanyahu was able to directly undermine President Barack Obama, blatantly side with the Republicans and Donald Trump for years, and take at least partial credit for undoing the Iran deal. All of this happened not only without consequence for Israel, but with great rewards in many realms.

Netanyahu knows Biden is not Trump, and he is getting ready to be more confrontational. The experience of the past five years is going to make Netanyahu much more confident than he was five years ago, when he was already acting in a much bolder manner than Israel–which has always been bolder than one would expect in dealing with the U.S.–had in the past. I explore the possibilities in my latest piece for Responsible Statecraft.