With the world in disarray due to the coronavirus pandemic, many observers note the out of place nature of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to Israel on May 13th, the day the new government is set be sworn in.
While Israel’s sovereignty push is sure to be the main point of the agenda, Pompeo’s visit comes at a time of increased instability in the Middle East as Russia begins its pull out from Syria. Russia’s pullback is occurring at the same time as Iran’s retreat.
While it is not clear where the region is heading without these two players, the instability and potential resurgence of Turkish backed Jihadist groups in Syria and beyond is of great concern to both Israel and the USA.
For the first time in Israel’s history or at least since the Six Day War in 1967, a US Administration is to the right of Israel on applying sovereignty to its Biblical Heartland of Judea and Samaria. For the Prime Minister this is a double edge sword. While he wants a legacy issue, he has never been able to cross the proverbial rubicon when it comes to Judea and Samaria.
Sovereignty would bring lasting adulation on the right, and a historical triumph for Netanyahu, but he would lose his tool for netting continuous rightwing votes. Another factor would be the collapse of the PA and the dumping of responsibility for 2 million PA residents on Israel’s lap.
Yet, President Trump, supported by Mike Pompeo, David Friedman, and Jared Kushner seem to be forcing Netanyahu forward. This is exactly why Gantz is onboard. His role is to provide the necessary cushioning from the center of the political map once the post sovereignty chaos begins.
Like anything else in President Trump’s term, Israel’s situation is on course to radically shift to a new reality. Regardless of the amount, any type of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will finally push forward the redemptive wheels that have be stuck since 1967.