The new government in Israel has not yet indicated what, if anything, it will do differently when it comes to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, but it has announced a fundamental shift when it comes to another contentious foreign policy issue that could ultimately influence Palestinian relations: its approach to influence in the U.S.
Fahad Nazer, the spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the U.S., was in the hot seat. After providing background on U.S.-Saudi ties during a Zoom panel last Friday, Nazer faced an uncomfortable question from the moderator: would the murder of Jamal Khashoggi damage bilateral relations?
If President Sisi’s administration continues its slide toward autocracy, the Biden administration should send a clear message that security assistance is not unconditional.
At a time when Biden has called for an American renewal, ending arms transfers to repressive regimes would be a welcome first step in ensuring that the U.S. role in the world reflects the values and commitments it seeks to promote at home.