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Israelis Concerned Biden’s Debate Performance May Embolden Iran

Last Updated 3 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

Anxiety about Iran among people in Israel is growing after the U.S. presidential debate last week showed an elderly President Joe Biden lacking composure and making confused statements.

Israelis across the political spectrum are concerned about Biden’s display of physical and mental weakness during Thursday night’s presidential debate. Analysts in Israeli publications wrote over the weekend that the display may embolden Iran at a time when Israel is already facing severe threats and violence from Iranian proxies and terror groups, according to The New York Times.

Amnon Lord, a columnist at the right-wing Israeli outlet Israel Hayom, wrote over the weekend a piece titled, “Biden’s decline gives Middle East’s axis of evil a golden opportunity against America – and Israel.”

“The president is functioning at a subpar level, while an extreme progressive group, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is driving US foreign policy. None of the issues concerning American citizens and those of other nations, such as Israel and Ukraine, are being adequately addressed or resolved,” Lord wrote. “In a world rife with aggressive forces, the unflattering image of an American president – the leader of the free world – appearing weak and incoherent encourages them to exploit opportunities.”

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On Sunday, Amos Harel, military correspondent and defense analyst for the left-wing Israeli outlet Haaretz, published an analysis piece titled: “Biden’s Presidential Debate Fiasco May Tempt U.S. Foes in the Mideast to Test His Resolve.” Harel wrote that Biden’s “fatigued, occasionally confused” debate appearance “could herald a strategic global turning point.”

Harel said the apparent increased chances of former President Donald Trump winning reelection could make Hamas less likely to strike a deal for hostages. He went on to write that Biden’s electoral weakness could distract the White House from Middle East instability.

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“When every vote in this election becomes even more critical, will Biden listen to criticism from his party’s left wing and make Israel show more restraint in its operations in Gaza? Will Hezbollah and Iran assess that Biden is too busy now to back Israel in case all-out war breaks out in Lebanon this summer?” Harel wrote.

Israel is waging war against the Iran-linked terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip while facing the threat of significant escalation with another Iranian-linked terror group, Hezbollah, to its north. The appearance of U.S. weakness or distraction could cause Iranian leaders to believe that it has an opportunity now to pressure or defeat Israel.

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The Biden administration has backed Israel through its conflict with Gaza, but support has slowed in recent months as Biden has grown increasingly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu has accused Biden of slowing support for Israel for political reasons.

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