Israeli Prime Minsiter Naftali Bennett will wait in Washington, DC, until Saturday night to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, after their scheduled meeting Thursday morning was canceled due to the terror attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The meeting between Bennett and Biden is considered important for at least two reasons: first, it is the first meeting between the two government leaders since the Israeli elections; second, Bennett is said to have prepared a plan for the U.S. and Israel to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, despite Biden’s ongoing efforts to save the Iran deal. In the wake of the terror attacks in Afghanistan, the meeting could also be an important show of solidarity against radical Islam.
Initially, when reports of explosions outside the Kabul Airport first emerged, the Bennett-Biden meeting was said to be on track. But Biden postponed the meeting as he met with senior members of his administration in the Situation Room.
That created a dilemma for Bennett, who had originally planned to return to Israel on Thursday night, but did not want to snub the U.S. However if he left Friday, he would have to travel on the Jewish Sabbath, which begins Friday evening. So Bennett decided to stay in the U.S. until Saturday night, according to Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:
Bennett, who is Sabbath observant, and who was to have departed tonight, is delaying his departure until Saturday night so he can meet with Biden and not travel on Shabbat.
— (((Ron Kampeas))) (@kampeas) August 26, 2021
The crisis created an opportunity, too: Bennett could improve relations with the Biden administration, some analysts said, with a strong show of support in a time of crisis.
Some pundits suggested that Bennett never should have visited, given the Afghanistan debacle. Israeli analyst Caroline Glick wrote that with “U.S. credibility in a state of unprecedented collapse, if Israel wants to prevent Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities, Biden is not man to see.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.