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What Will Biden's Israel Visit Achieve?

October 18, 2023 15:35 IST
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in the Middle East since last week, dashing from capital to capital, to ensure that the events provoked by Hamas's horrific terror attack on Israel and Israel's consequent savage bombing of Gaza -- both attacks killing thousands of civilian non combatants -- does not spiral into a war that engulfs the entire region and the world.

Blinken's shuttle diplomacy -- after which he spent several hours talking to the Israeli war cabinet on Monday -- appears to have stalled for now at least the Israeli ground invasion of Gaza till its civilian population was evacuated to safety.

President Joe Biden's journey to Jerusalem on Wednesday is thought of being an attempt to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- who must take blame for the terrifying events of October 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked Jewish communities close to the border in Gaza and massacred hundreds of Israelis -- to call off the ground invasion that would be catastrophic for the 2 million Palestinians who live on that narrow strip of land called Gaza as well as for the Israeli Defence Force whose generals have vowed not to leave a single Hamas member alive.

Netanyahu has a testy relationship with Biden who was openly disapproving of the Israeli leader's numerous attempts to fiddle with the Israeli judicial system and though the optics from their meeting in New York last month were amiable, The New York Times revealed that behind close doors the American president made Netanyahu know what he thought of his government's many actions.


IMAGE: Biden and Netanyahu begin a shuffle towards each other at Tel Aviv airport. All Photographs: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters


IMAGE: Then that tentative hug.


IMAGE: Biden speaks to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, left, as Netanyahu listens in.


Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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