The big picture

Biden and Netanyahu are on a collision course over Iran

Netanyahu has personally started campaigning against any return to the Iran deal

Dec 9, 2020 - World
The only Trump foreign policy Biden wants to keep

The push could help Biden build positive relationships with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders in the Persian Gulf.

Dec 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Israel's plan to influence Biden on Iran

“We don’t want to be left out again."

Nov 18, 2020 - World
Behind the scenes: How the Israel-UAE deal came together

The breakthrough came two months ago, amid the dispute over annexation.

Aug 13, 2020 - World

All Israel stories

23 hours ago - World

Netanyahu tries to change election rules as mandate slips away

Netanyahu addresses supporters. Photo: Noam Moskowitz/picture alliance via Getty

With his mandate to form a government due to expire in two weeks, and his rivals' efforts to form an alternative coalition gaining momentum, Netanyahu has a new strategy: changing the election rules.

Why it matters: If Netanyahu can’t form a coalition by May 4, he will face the real danger of losing the prime minister’s post for the first time in 12 years.

23 hours ago - World

Abbas weighs delay of Palestinian parliamentary elections

Studying the electoral rolls in Ramallah. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is seriously considering postponing the May 22 parliamentary elections and could announce the move within days, Palestinian and Israeli sources say. The Biden administration is hinting it wouldn't object to such a move.

Why it matters: The May vote would be the first election in the Palestinian Authority in 15 years. A postponement would be a sign of the deep democratic deficit in the West Bank and Gaza and could lead to protests.

Apr 21, 2021 - World

U.S.-Israel tensions build as Iran talks progress

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

As nuclear talks in Vienna enter a critical stage, the gaps and suspicions over Iran between the Israeli government and the Biden administration are growing.

Why it matters: Both sides want to avoid the kind of public fight that emerged during the negotiations over the 2015 deal. But in private, there's growing frustration on both sides about the lack of trust, coordination and transparency.

Apr 18, 2021 - World

Israeli intel agencies believe Vienna talks will lead to U.S. return to Iran nuclear deal

Photo: DEBBIE HILL/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli military intelligence and senior officials in the Mossad briefed a meeting of the nation's security cabinet that talks in Vienna between Iran and other world powers will lead to the U.S. returning to the 2015 nuclear deal, two officials who attended the meeting told me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government is very concerned about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal and is trying to convince the Biden administration not to take the pressure off the Iranian regime.

Apr 14, 2021 - World

Israel's election: Netanyahu seeks deal with rival Naftali Bennett

Netanyahu (L) with then-defense minister Naftali Bennett in 2019. Photo: Atef SafadiI/POOL/AFP via Getty

With 21 days left to form a government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is attempting to convince Naftali Bennett that he should stand behind him rather than trying to take his place.

Why it matters: Bennett's right-wing Yamina party won just seven seats in the March 23 elections, but an unprecedented set of political circumstances has created an opening for the former defense minister and tech entrepreneur to replace Netanyahu with the support of the center-left.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Apr 12, 2021 - World

"Nuclear sabotage" in Iran threatens nuclear talks in Vienna

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (2nd R) at a Nuclear Technology Day exhibition on Saturday. Photo: Iranian Presidency Handout via Getty

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has threatened retaliation against "any power with knowledge" of Sunday's attack on an Iranian nuclear site, and said Iran would now accelerate its violations of the 2015 nuclear deal until the U.S. lifts sanctions.

Why it matters: The apparent act of Israeli nuclear sabotage, which caused a blackout at the underground Natanz enrichment facility and may have caused significant damage, comes as the U.S. attempts to revive the nuclear deal.

Apr 12, 2021 - World

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to hold strategic Iran talks on Tuesday

Jake Sullivan. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty

Top national security officials from the U.S. and Israel will convene virtually on Tuesday for a second round of strategic talks on Iran, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The talks come two days after an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility that experts consider a likely act of Israeli sabotage, and one day before the U.S. resumes indirect nuclear talks in Vienna over a return to the 2015 nuclear deal — a prospect that has raised anxiety levels in Jerusalem.

Apr 12, 2021 - World

Israel agrees to send more water to Jordan after push from Biden

Netanyahu (L) and King Abdullah in 2014. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a request to increase the water supply to Jordan after prodding from the Biden administration, Israeli officials told me. 

Why it matters: Israeli-Jordanian relations have recently sunk into a new crisis, with the water supply as one major point of tension. The Jordanian government asked the Biden administration in recent weeks for help in resolving the issue. 

Apr 12, 2021 - World

U.S. distances itself from explosion at Iranian nuclear site

Lloyd Austin (L) and Benjamin Netanyahu today in Jerusalem. Photo: Mehahem Kahana/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration says it had no role in the explosion on Sunday at an Iranian uranium enrichment facility. Iran has blamed Israel and vowed to take revenge.

Why it matters: The administration is attempting to negotiate a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, with a second round of indirect talks set to start on Wednesday. The timing of the incident, along with several recent Israeli strikes on Iranian ships, could make Biden's diplomatic challenge more difficult.

Apr 11, 2021 - World

Iran announces blackout at nuclear facility, possible Israeli cyber attack

Iran announced on Sunday a blackout occurred at its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.

Why it matters: The incident occurred as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

More Israel stories