Regarding Russia, Putin and Netanyahu maintain good relations. More than one million Russian Jews live in Israel, about 10% of the population and a very active community. But Israelis are also aware of Russia’s limitations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Israel has particularly focused on strengthening relations more with Asian countries than with Western countries - sharing similar successful results with the former in handling the pandemic.
Nevertheless, this is a very long process, which will likely span several decades.
The US Embassy moved to Jerusalem under the impetus of Trump’s administration, and should remain there, according to the new Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. However, President Biden reaffirmed his support for the "two-state solution", considering it the only viable way out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What can we expect from the Biden’s administration on this issue?
Israel knows that, on the main issues, Washington will not overturn the spectacular advances made by Trump's America. The American embassy will remain in Jerusalem - this is now a given, and it will not change. The United States will also recognize and support the Abraham Accords signed between a growing number of Arab countries and Israel, agreements which reflect acceptance of Israel in the region.
On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the Biden administration is indeed returning to the principles held by the international community, which maintain that the only possible solution is one with two independent and sovereign states. The fact that the capital of Israel is Jerusalem does not negate this solution. Moreover, the Israeli left has mentioned several times that Jerusalem could be the capital of both states: that of the Israeli state on the Jewish side, and that of the Palestinian state on the Arab side. However, the Palestinian question has been largely abandoned by the Arab countries themselves, who are far more concerned about the Iranian threat than the Palestinian hope of having a state. This has been illustrated by Arab countries - as diverse as Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco - establishing diplomatic relations with Israel in recent months. This is happening before any progress has been made on the Palestinian question, which can be understood as priority given to national interests over any other consideration these countries might have.
What to expect on the Iranian question, so important to the Hebrew state?
Iran's regional influence and its nuclear program was a major theme of Joe Biden and Benyamin Netanyahu’s call on February 17, during which the two leaders stressed "the importance of continued consultation on regional security issues". When Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Israel - which made no secret of its opposition to the agreement - had supported its American counterpart’s decision to tighten sanctions against Iran. Today, the fundamental interests of the international community - not only of Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United States or the European Union, but also of Russia, China and Turkey - have not changed. It wants to avoid a nuclear-capable Iran at all costs, as this would lead to a nuclear arms race in the entire region. Thus, the Iranian situation is by far the most important for Israel, and more broadly for the Middle Eastern region.
From the Iranian point of view, however, the regime is not ready to give up its nuclear ambitions for several reasons. First, the Iranians learned the lessons from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. To dissuade the United States, Israel and other countries from attacking them, their only solution is to possess the absolute weapon - the nuclear weapon. Beyond the defense of the country, nuclear weapons are seen as a guarantee of survival for the mullahs' regime. It is a nationalist demand that is very popular with the majority of the Iranian people. It is therefore necessary at all costs to both prevent Iran from going nuclear while also categorically avoiding going to war with Tehran. What is more dangerous, a nuclear Iran or war with Iran? Donald Trump had decried nuclear Iran as more dangerous, while Barack Obama considered both to be equally dangerous. Joe Biden seems more in agreement with the latter.
However, we are no longer in 2015 and things have changed, including the position of the United States on these issues. In 2015, Barack Obama gave a high priority to the JCPOA for example, which is not the case for Joe Biden today. His priority is first and foremost a domestic one: reconciling Americans. Abroad, he is more focused on China and Asia than on the Middle East.