New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, known for his close ties to US President Joe Biden, published an op-ed on Saturday following Biden’s meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York this past week.
Friedman asserted that, while appearing friendly toward Netanyahu, the President had “privately slip[ped] a homework assignment into Bibi’s pocket.”
This assignment, according to Friedman, was for Netanyahu to decide whether to dismantle his coalition, or miss out on the chance to achieve normalization with Saudi Arabia.
“It was a master class in how a US president puts a fateful decision to an Israeli leader — one that poses to that Israeli leader the most excruciating challenge of his political career. That is: either blow up the extremist cabinet you’ve built to keep yourself out of jail — and replace it with a national unity coalition — or blow up the chance for peace with Saudi Arabia, which could pave the way for Israel’s acceptance across the whole Muslim world,” wrote Friedman.