Upside of US election

Dr. Norman Bailey

Politics in the US should become more balanced, and there are encouraging aspects for Israel as well.

On the assumption that: 1. President Trump’s challenges to the election results in various states does not overturn President-Elect Biden’s victory and 2. The runoffs in Georgia result in the Republicans retaining control of the Senate, the election results of 2020 in the US are the best possible among all the bad alternatives.

In the first place, they are a repudiation of the extremists of both parties. House democrats are already accusing their extremists for having scared Americans to the extent of the party almost losing the presidency, losing seats in the House of Representatives and not taking control of the Senate. On the Republican side, numerous moderate republicans are saying that if their candidate were not such an extremely unpleasant person, they would easily have won the presidency, increased their majority in the Senate and probably taken control of the House.

Secondly, by the republicans retaining control of the Senate, checks and balances are reinforced. President Biden will not be able to jam through Congress anything he wants to and will have to compromise, which in any case is in accordance with his character.

What will this mean for Israel? US-Israeli relations will revert to the situation pre-Obama, with neither the anti-Israel Obama legacy nor the pro-Israel legacy of Trump. The Biden administration will support some sort of two-state resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict and will oppose further settlements in the West Bank, but will also support Israeli-Arab state "Abraham agreements" and remain firmly supportive of US-Israeli military/security cooperation.

On the other hand, Biden will try to resurrect the moribund Iran "deal". Even if he succeeds, any new arrangement between the parties will be either ineffective from the outset or will be systematically violated by the Iranian regime. In other words, a repeat of the original "deal".

It is unlikely that a Biden Administration will attempt an overall warming of relations with China, given the current stance of the Chinese government, and it is possible that Russian policy will actually be less accommodating than was that of the Trump administration. Turkish relations may also be more confrontational than under Trump. In other words, if any substantial change at all, probably a change to a stronger stance internationally, not a weaker one, except possibly in the case of Iran, and perhaps North Korea.

All-in-all, if the conditions outlined above prove to be the case, and if this analysis is more or less accurate, the election results will be good for the US and quite acceptable for Israel.

Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute,  and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on November 8, 2020

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