After positioning himself for months as a peacemaker mediating Israel's warring political camps, President Isaac Herzog took off for Washington early Tuesday to try to bridge another chasm that seems to be growing wider with each passing week.
When he lands in Washington at around 8:30 a.m., Herzog will be kicking off his second trip to US President Joe Biden's White House as president, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been impatiently awaiting his first turn to meet the president in Washington since he returned to office in December.
That invite finally came hours before Herzog's flight, when Biden phoned Netanyahu Monday evening, though it was not clear that a White House sitdown was on offer. Even in the famously tense Barack Obama years, Netanyahu enjoyed repeated trips to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Lazar Berman is the Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter and a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow.