WASHINGTON, D.C.—When U.S. President Joe Biden arrives in Israel this week he needs to deliver something big.
A photo-op won’t do.
Biden needs to move the needle.
One objective certainly needs to be finishing off the re-arming of Israel after last year's war with terrorists in Gaza. That involves finalizing the billion-dollar resupply of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system that Biden promised.
Biden also needs to reassure Israel that it will get far tougher to stop the Iranian regime from building The Bomb.
Announcing that the administration is done pleading with the terrorists in Tehran to rejoin the deeply-flawed nuclear deal would be big and welcome news.
Reengaging in a “maximum pressure” campaign of crippling economic sanctions and a serious and credible American military threat should follow.
But Biden can and should do more.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivered serious substance during his term in office. He recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. He moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He recognized the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory. And delivered four Arab-Israeli peace and normalization treaties known as the Abraham Accords.
What will Biden deliver?
My recommendation: Biden should invite Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid to jump on Air Force One and go to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with him to meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).
That would be dramatic and unexpected.
The gesture – and the photos – would send a powerful and hopeful signal that Biden is actively trying to bring the Saudis and Israelis into a new regional era of peace and normalization.
This would be huge, and lay the groundwork for more substantive high-level meetings.
This is exactly what most Americans are hoping for, as well. According to an exclusive poll commissioned by ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS ahead of Biden's trip, 54.6% of Americans aged 18 believe that Biden should make Israel-Saudi peace one of his top priorities.
Next, for example, Biden could invite Lapid and MBS to Camp David for a weekend to get to know each other and begin a three-way discussion about security, peace and prosperity in a New Middle East.
Senior Israeli and Saudi officials indicate that they are open to such a bold move by Biden.
Is Biden ready, willing and able to pull off such a dramatic and positive surprise?
As I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, this is what I’m praying for this week.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.