Arab-Israeli normalization to stabilize the region was an Obama policy objective long before Trump ever entered politics! Obama raised the topic on his first trip to Saudi Arabia. Biden's just picking that up. This is why knowing history is helpful to properly reporting the news.
Obama hoped to leverage normalizing gestures by Saudi towards Israel to incentivize Israeli moves on the Palestinians. At the time, Saudi rejected the idea out of hand. Wonder if Biden is thinking of reviving the notion now that it's on more favorable terrain.
No, Arab-Israeli normalization was a longstanding bipartisan foreign policy objective. Obama didn't invent it, and neither did Trump.
Morbidly fascinating to see all the replies from people saying "I didn't like Obama and I didn't like the Iran deal, so this documented thing that happened could not have happened." Very healthy approach to reality, folks!
Yes, Kerry saw Obama's early efforts at Israel-Saudi normalization get rejected, which undoubtedly informed his (mistaken) view that such normalization was not in the cards absent progress on the Palestinians. This all makes sense if one cares about facts rather than dunks.

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More from @Yair_Rosenberg

8 Jun
My latest: How social media forges false consensus and erodes our public discourse, on everything from American electoral politics to the coronavirus yair.substack.com/p/how-social-m…
"If you’re wondering why so many smart people have been wrong on so many big things in recent years—from Trump’s 2016 viability, to the origins and virulence of the coronavirus, to the strength of Biden’s 2020 campaign—understanding Twitter’s role is a big piece of the puzzle."
"Now everybody is on Twitter and Twitter is the consensus. It influences what you think and what you feel you can and can’t say. It becomes this mass socialization mechanism for journalists. That’s how you end up with all sorts of ill effects and misses." yair.substack.com/p/how-social-m…
Read 6 tweets
8 Jun
Israeli opposition leader Lapid: "If our political culture is based on lies and threats and hatred of Arabs, hatred of leftists, and hatred of right-wingers who don't hate Arabs and leftists enough, then yes, we need change & we have brought about change. And we are proud of it."
For those who know Hebrew, you can watch his full statement here:
If you're curious about Lapid, who would become Israel's foreign minister and rotate in as prime minister in the proposed new government, I have an explainer for you: yair.substack.com/p/what-you-sho…
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
Vox commissioned a poll that found that 39% of Democrats approved of Biden's approach to Israel in the recent conflict and 11% wanted him to be *more* supportive, then put a headline on it suggesting Biden is at odds with the Democratic party. Weird! vox.com/2021/6/8/22519… ImageImage
The full @voxdotcom / @DataProgress poll on Biden and Israel is very interesting! It shows that on this issue, as on so many issues, Biden is basically in the sweet spot for his party, which doesn't quite align with activist sentiment on social media. filesforprogress.org/datasets/2021/… ImageImageImage
The one interesting result where Biden is still with the electoral majority, but Democrats are evenly split, is on whether aid to Israel should be kept the same/increased or decreased. This split makes sense, as many voters across the spectrum are suspicious of foreign aid. Image
Read 4 tweets
3 Jun
My latest: If you're confused about what's going in Israel right now, you're not alone. My latest is an explainer about Israel's potential post-Netanyahu government. Six essential insights about what just happened and what it means for Israel's future: tabletmag.com/sections/israe…
First, it's important to understand that Netanyahu has *not* been replaced. There is a coalition attempting to oust him, but it must hold together long enough to pass a parliamentary vote. This isn't a done deal, and won't be until that happens.
tabletmag.com/sections/israe…
Here's a quick explanation of why Israel hasn't been able to form a government to replace Netanyahu for two years and several elections, and what's changed in the last 24 hours: tabletmag.com/sections/israe…
Read 9 tweets
3 Jun
Let's check in on the official Yair scoreboard...

LAPID⬆️
NETANYAHU⬇️
I regret to inform you that the world's worst Yair is at it again
I have definitive Rosenberg rankings and definitive Yair rankings, as you always want to keep track of the people whose actions you'll probably be blamed for at some point
Read 4 tweets
2 Jun
As usual, the head of Israel's largest majority Arab party is more pro-two states than those in the West who claim to be the allies of his constituents. The one-state solution remains a Western fantasy in search of a Middle Eastern constituency.
We have years of polls showing pluralities of Israelis & Palestinians support two states, while a tiny percentage (when asked with details) support a *democratic* one-state. I don't think one-state is bad or "antisemitic." I just think it's a non-starter. pcpsr.org/en/node/823
There's absolutely nothing wrong with popularizing one-state ideas to people in Israel/Palestine and trying to build support for them. I personally think we should consider halfway models of confederation. But any solution must start with what people on the ground actually want.
Read 4 tweets

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