Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. resigned on Sunday, hours after welcoming Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to D.C., where he will meet on Monday with President Biden at the White House.
Why it matters: Gilad Erdan's decision comes as the Biden administration and new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett feel each other out, particularly on the most contentious issues like Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- "I believe it is up to the current government to appoint an ambassador that will represent it politically with the administration," Erdan tweeted on Sunday.
- Erdan had recently replaced Ron Dermer, Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest confidant who served as ambassador for eight years and became one of Washington's most influential and powerful diplomats.
I believe it is up to the current government to appoint an ambassador that will represent it politically with the administration. However, I will continue to defend Israel at the UN and fight for justice in the international arena. 3/3— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) June 27, 2021
The big picture: This is a farewell tour for Rivlin, whose seven-year term ends next month. Isaac Herzog will become Israel's next president on July 9.
- Rivlin met last week with Bennett and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to coordinate the message to the U.S. on Iran, Axios reported.
- Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Lapid in Rome on Sunday where they discussed regional stability, according to spokesman Ned Price following the meeting.
Erdan will continue to serve as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations.