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Biden’s poor show at presidential debate raises alarm in Israel

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Israelis expressed growing concern on Sunday that US Prez Biden‘s shaky debate performance could spur on the country’s foes at what many view as a critical time for American leadership in the region. Israeli commentators from across the political spectrum warned that Iran and its proxies could try to exploit Biden’s apparent weakness as Israel fights Hamas in Gaza and weighs the prospect of an all-out conflict with the Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Several of Israel’s newspapers featured the debate on their front pages. Analysts for Israel Hayom, a right-wing free paper, and the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper differed sharply in tone but both raised the specter of enemies of Israel and the US testing the administration’s resolve. “Will Hezbollah and Iran assess that Biden is too busy now to back Israel in case all-out war breaks out in Lebanon” Amos Harel, Haaretz’s analyst, wrote. During the debate, Trump accused Biden of not wanting Israel to “finish the job” in Gaza – calling him weak and using the word “Palestinian” as an insult. Biden offered little in the way of a response.
Yediot Ahronot, a mainstream Hebrew daily, described Biden’s performance as a “catastrophe.” “Weakness is not a characteristic that an American prez can broadcast,” it said.





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