Netanyahu’s far-right government faces difficulty in making concessions, with Democratic senators warning of opposition within President Biden’s party if there are no Palestinian gains in a future Saudi-Israel agreement
The U.S. told Israel that it would have to make substantial concessions to the Palestinians in any future deal to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and that Israeli officials who claim that this would not be required are incorrect.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which depends on far-right parties, will find it hard to make such concessions.
The message by the U.S., first reported by Israeli news site Walla, was conveyed to the Israelis during the recent visit by Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer to Washington. Dermer met with Biden administration officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
Dermer, according to the report, was dismissive of the Palestinian aspect of the potential future deal.
Sec. Antony Blinken meets with Strategic Minister Dermer of Israel at the State Department Headquarters in Washington, DC, earlier this year.Credit: Chuck Kennedy
Two weeks ago, Haaretz reported that Israel and the U.S. are far apart in how they view the Palestinian aspect of the potential deal. While the Biden administration believes that without significant concessions to the Palestinians it will be difficult to pass the agreement in the U.S. Senate and find support for it in public opinion in the Arab world.
However, senior officials in the Netanyahu government say that the issue is not expected to affect the talks and is not really important to the Saudi leadership.
Senior Democratic senators who spoke to Haaretz made it clear that without achievements for the Palestinians, there is likely to be opposition to a future agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel in the ranks of President Biden’s party.