US Secretary of State Blinken Visits Israel to Reaffirm US Commitment and Urge De-Escalation
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel this week, meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, in an effort to de-escalate the violence that has recently erupted in the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog both welcomed Blinken to Israel, reiterating the “ ironclad” commitment of the United States to Israel’s security and expressing gratitude for the words of condolence offered by President Biden and Vice President Harris following the recent attack in East Jerusalem.
The United States and Israel share a “common commitment” to a two-state solution, Blinken said, adding that anything that moves away from this vision is “detrimental to Israel’s long-term security and its long-term identity as a Jewish and democratic state.” He also stressed the importance of building consensus and urged both sides to take “urgent steps to restore calm.”
Blinken’s visit is part of the Biden administration’s push to re-engage with Netanyahu, who has a lengthy – and sometimes fraught – relationship with the president. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Cohen reaffirmed the significance of the visit, saying that “every visit of an American secretary of state is historic and important” and that it “strengthens the relationship between our countries.”
Blinken’s trip is not expected to produce any diplomatic breakthroughs, but it is an important gesture of support and solidarity. In the coming days, he will continue to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders in order to urge them to take steps to restore calm and de-escalate the situation.
0. “Blinken hints broad consensus needed for Israel's judicial overhaul” The Jerusalem Post, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/american-politics/article-730064
1. “Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Israeli President Isaac Herzog Before Their Meeting – United States Department of State” Department of State, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-israeli-president-isaac-herzog-before-their-meeting-3/
2. “US not interested in pressing Israel amid violence: Experts” Al Jazeera English, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/30/us-not-interested-in-pressing-israel-amid-violence-experts
3. “Blinken urges calm, reaffirms ‘ironclad’ US support for Israel” Al Jazeera English, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/1/30/blinken-urges-calm-reaffirms-us-ironclad-support-for-israel
4. “Blinken calls for calm on Jerusalem visit amid days of Israeli-Palestinian violence” The Guardian, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/30/blinken-begins-middle-east-trip-with-call-for-calm-as-israeli-palestinian-violence-flares