Lapid’s rainy journey shows Israel a different world

In just four weeks in office, Yair Lapid, the new coalition government in Israel, has been overseas for a long time, demonstrating his first determination to start a new relationship after the 12-year division of Benjamin Netanyahu.

With the eight-party coalition elected last month, Lapid, the foreign minister, opened the first Israeli ambassador to the UAE, to Rome for talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, went to Amman to talk to his Jordanian counterpart and spoke to the prime minister. EU foreign policy in Brussels.

“It’s been a long time – there’s a new government, a new power, let’s start at the beginning,” Lapid said in Brussels on Monday, the first Israeli official to address the European Foreign Council in more than a decade.

“Israel shares the interests of the EU, but more than that, it shares the values ​​with the EU,” he added, referring to human rights and LGBT rights, climate change, terrorism and strong democratic stones such as free journalists, strong organizations and religious freedom.

Lapid, a former TV journalist centrist, was instrumental in incorporating an unconventional alliance, linked only to the desire to oust Netanyahu. That the EU made the request to Lapid, and that he responded positively and made the trip, has not been lost to European officials, who have long been frustrated by Netanyahu’s policies in West Bank, Iran, and European politics.

The May War in Gaza also criticized Israel’s support for Palestinians. It is unclear what will change drastically. But Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, said on Monday: “We have the opportunity to resume and strengthen our relationship.”

Lapid, left, meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome, Italy June 27 © Andrew Harnik / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

A European diplomat added: “Netanyahu’s presence is a great privilege [on a wide variety of issues], and many years later the foreign ministry of Israel under Lapid has returned to power. ”

The Israeli government, dubbed the “reformist alliance”, has also sought to strengthen ties with the US Democratic Party in Washington, reduce public tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and demonstrate a willingness to continue the Palestinian conflict.

Israeli officials have met with delegates from across the Middle East, a signal to the people of Israel that there is life after Netanyahu, who signed a peace deal with several of them and during the election called the “alliance between” the international stage.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman last week, Axios announced for the first time, a few years later a connection between the king and Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was famous for making decisions on all foreign issues and using the governments of Eastern and Central Europe to divide the EU and prevent any opposition from Israel.

Yair Netanyahu, the son of a former Prime Minister and political adviser, called the EU an “enemy of Israel” and a “evil organization in the world”, while seeking the opportunity to elect the right people such as Nigel Farage, Viktor Orban of Hungary, and Geert Wilders of Holland.

The state of Israel is clearly unwilling to join forces with patriotic governments; Bennett recently spoke with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Instead, according to an official in Israel, the plan is to “expand our cooperation, and work with many countries”.

Israeli analysts say Netanyahu’s indifference to the US Democratic Party’s actions in favor of Donald Trump, as well as public disputes with Barack Obama, is one example of choosing a lucrative ally instead of favoring Israel for a long time.

“He believes that as long as he is given power he can do things well and it will not pay him or Israel,” said Tal Shalev, a political correspondent for Walla News.

Israel under Bennett would have opposed the return of the US to Iran’s nuclear deal in 2015, but the Prime Minister has promised that the disagreement with Washington should be handled with caution.

However, international leaders make it clear that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to undermine good relations with other countries.

“A strong, strong relationship with Israel must resume the path to peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians. . . the same, “Borrell said, while shaking the” special “head of Israel’s new government.

The Israeli alliance looks at tradition, including readers such as Bennett, a legal expert who previously advocated the occupation of the West Bank, supervisors of organizations such as Lapid, left-wing groups and the Arab party. Lapid, who will replace Bennett as Prime Minister as part of a coalition agreement, in Brussels has encouraged bilateral relations, although he acknowledged that this would not happen soon.

“No one [in this government] takes everything necessary in the case of Palestine, e.g. [West Bank] “Welcome, re-establishment, or the final outcome of peace talks,” he said in Israel. “But there is room for improvement and a better environment.”

Western officials are encouraged by the new government’s willingness to participate in economic and security reforms in the West Bank and Gaza.

In recent weeks Israel has issued a Covid-19 vaccine to the Palestinian Authority (which Palestinians later rejected), agreed to strengthen trade relations between Jordan and the West Bank, signed an additional water deal with Jordan, and restored economic activity with the PA – all steps Netanyahu refuses to take it. Joe Biden’s leadership is expected to strengthen the strengthening of the Palestinian trade sector in the West Bank and reduce tensions between Israeli and Palestinian security forces, a number of people have said.

Whether such an effort is sufficient to stem the tide of troops in Gaza or the unrest in the West Bank is unknown. And the biggest test for the new government is its policy of expulsion from Palestine in East Jerusalem and the construction of villages in the West Bank.

“There is hope [regarding the Israeli government] but in real terms, “the European ambassador added.” It is a diverse treaty with great differences. The question is what such a treaty would carry. ”

More Valentina Pop reports in Brussels

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