Biden will visit Israel despite Knesset disbanding, elections

Biden is expected to visit Israel on July 13-14. He will spend the night in Jerusalem and will hold talks with the incoming prime minister Yair Lapid. 

 US PRESIDENT Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a flight to Los Angeles this week. If Biden is coming to the Mideast to criticize and slow Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and greater Jerusalem, pull back, says the writer. (photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden waves as he boards Air Force One for a flight to Los Angeles this week. If Biden is coming to the Mideast to criticize and slow Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and greater Jerusalem, pull back, says the writer.
(photo credit: KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS)

US President Joe Biden still plans to visit Israel next month, despite the coalition’s collapse, US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides said Monday.

“He is coming,” he said. “As we have said, he is coming for the Israeli people.”

The US National Security Council Spokesperson said: "We have a strategic relationship with Israel that goes beyond any one government. The President looks forward to the visit next month."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who will become prime minister after the Knesset’s dissolution, last week said he was certain “the president will be here, no matter what.”

“The president’s relationship with Israel is way more important, significant and long-lasting than any political event,” Lapid said. “The US is our greatest ally and the most important partnership and friendship we have.”

“The US is our greatest ally and the most important partnership and friendship we have.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid
 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a weekly cabinet meeting, June 12, 2022 (credit: Yoav Dudkevitch/Pool) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a weekly cabinet meeting, June 12, 2022 (credit: Yoav Dudkevitch/Pool)

Read more on the dissolution of the Knesset and the upcoming elections:

Beyond the usual meetings with Israeli leaders, Biden’s agenda includes a visit to an Iron Dome battery at the Palmahim air base, where he will highlight his work with Congress to secure $1 billion to replenish the missile-defense system.

The Defense Ministry plans to demonstrate its Iron Beam laser interception system, which shoots down rockets, missiles and drones, while Biden is at the Palmahim air base.

Biden also plans to visit Makassed Hospital, the largest Palestinian medical center in Jerusalem. He will do so unaccompanied by Israeli officials, which could be viewed as not recognizing Israel’s sovereignty in that part of the city, near the historic Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.