The Jerusalem Post
Biden is also likely to raise US concerns over Russian cyber-meddling in US politics, something Moscow, which is pushing for a cyber noninterference pact, denies.
HUMAN RIGHTS, NAVALNY
Biden has said his administration will prioritize the global promotion of human rights and democracy and not shy away from warning countries over their records.
Washington has criticized Moscow over its treatment and alleged poisoning of Navalny and says he should be freed.
The Kremlin, which denies the poisoning, has said Russian politics is a domestic matter, and Washington should stay out of it. It says it will not take lectures from a country it casts as having many human-rights problems of its own.
The world’s two biggest nuclear powers are keen to talk arms control to ensure stable relations between their militaries.
In February, they extended for five years the New START treaty, which limits the numbers of strategic nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers each can deploy.
Moscow is keen on a longer extension that would include newer systems.
After the 2019 demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Russia also wants to do a deal that neither side deploy certain land-based missiles in Europe.
The United States has been Ukraine’s most powerful ally since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, a move that pushed Moscow’s ties with the West to post-Cold War lows.
A buildup of Russian forces in Crimea and near Ukraine’s borders earlier this year worried Washington, which wants Russia to return Crimea and Kyiv to regain control of a swath of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
NATO leaders on Monday reiterated a 2008 decision that Ukraine could one day join, but Biden said Kyiv had to root out corruption and meet other criteria first.
Putin had said Ukraine was a “redline,” and he wants Washington
to steer clear. He has balked at the idea of Ukrainian membership in NATO, said Crimea is Russian and told Kyiv it needs to talk to separatists in eastern Ukraine if it wants the territory back in any form.
Kawhi Leonard recorded 31 points and seven rebounds before exiting with an apparent injury, and the Los Angeles Clippers notched a 118-104 victory over the Utah Jazz late Monday night to tie their Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
Paul George also scored 31 points and collected nine rebounds as Los Angeles won its second straight game in the best-of-seven series. Marcus Morris Sr. scored 22 of his 24 points during a first half in which the Clippers led by as many as 29 points.
Donovan Mitchell poured in 37 points to tie the Utah franchise playoff record of six straight 30-point outings held by Hall of Famer Karl Malone (three in 1995, three in 1996).
Leonard left the contest with 4:35 remaining and didn’t return. His departure came less than a minute after he grabbed at his right knee following a collision with the Jazz’s Joe Ingles.
Utah’s Mike Conley (hamstring) sat out and has missed all four games of the series.
Ingles scored 19 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 for the top-seeded Jazz, who shot 42.9 percent from the field and were 17-of42 (40.5 percent) from three-point range.
Fourth-seeded Los Angeles made 46.8 percent of its shots and hit 15-of-37 (40.5 percent) from behind the arc.
Ingles drained a three to pull Utah within 112-102 with 2:10 left before Los Angeles scored six of the next seven points en route to closing it out.
Utah trailed 68-44 at halftime but trimmed its deficit to 14 early in the third quarter.
George tallied five points during a 9-3 burst to give the Clippers an 84-64 advantage with 4:12 left in the stanza.
Los Angeles took a 94-73 lead into the final stanza. Luke Kennard’s triple increased the Clippers’ advantage to 101-75 with 10:37 remaining before Utah answered with a 19-6 spurt to move within 13 points with 3:56 to play.
Morris made all five of his first-half threepoint attempts while leading the Clippers to the 24-point edge at the break.
Los Angeles held a 20-6 lead after Leonard’s basket just over six minutes into the game. The Clippers led 30-13 after the conclusion of the quarter.
Los Angeles kept its foot on the pedal, and two free throws by Morris increased the lead to 51-22 with 5:21 left in the first half.
Mitchell scored 21 points in the opening half.
Hawks 103, 76ers 100
Trae Young collected 25 points and a careerhigh-tying 18 assists to fuel host Atlanta to a victory over Philadelphia.
The Hawks overcame an 18-point, second-quarter deficit and evened the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece. Game 5 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.
With Atlanta nursing a 101-100 lead, Philadelphia forced the Hawks into a turnover before taking a timeout with 16.6 seconds to play. Joel Embiid, however, failed to convert on a drive to the basket with 8.8 seconds remaining to fall to 0-for-12 from the floor in the second half.
Young subsequently made two free throws to give the Hawks a three-point cushion with 6.6 seconds left. Seth Curry’s off-balance, threepoint attempt caromed off the back of the rim to end the game.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points for the fifth-seeded Hawks. Atlanta’s John Collins (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Clint Capela (12 points, 13 boards) each posted double-doubles.
Tobias Harris had 20 points and Embiid recorded 17 points and 21 rebounds for the top-seeded 76ers, who were outscored 54-38 in the second half.
Ben Simmons had 11 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks on the same day that he was named to the 2020/21 NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Embiid made a pair of foul shots to give Philadelphia a 95-94 lead with 3:23 remaining in the fourth quarter before Furkan Korkmaz extended the advantage by draining a deep three. Collins converted from beyond the arc on the next possession, and Young sank a floater with 1:17 left to regain the lead for Atlanta.
The Hawks chipped away at their early deficit before Bogdanovic drained a three-pointer to give them an 83-82 lead early in the fourth quarter. Shake Milton scored all eight of his points in a 77-second span to hand the 76ers a 92-88 advantage, but Young’s floater, a defensive goaltending call and Capela’s alley-oop dunk regained the lead for Atlanta.
Philadelphia overcame an ice-cold shooting performance to start the game before scoring 24 of the final 34 points to take a 28-20 lead at the end of the first quarter. Curry sank two 3-pointers en route to scoring eight points for the 76ers, while Bogdanovic had 10 points to pace Atlanta.
Embiid briefly went to the locker room during the start of the second quarter before his return ignited a surge by Philadelphia. Embiid made a three shortly after re-entering the game, and Harris converted from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions to highlight a 17-3 run by the 76ers.
Philadelphia shot 52.1 percent from the floor (25-of-48) and 63.6 percent from threepoint range (7 of 11) to seize a 62-49 lead at halftime.
For the game, the 76ers outshot the Hawks 43.5 percent to 36.6 percent from the floor and 40.7 percent (11-of-27) to 30 percent (12of-40) from beyond the arc. (Reuters)
The long and divisive reign of Benjamin Netanyahu, the dominant Israeli politician of the past generation, officially ended on Sunday night. Netanyahu fell, but did not die. His defeat was by the narrowest possible margin.
Naftali Bennett replaced him as prime minister. He is taking power at a delicate moment in Israel’s history. Yair Lapid, a centrist leader and the new foreign minister, is set to take Bennett’s place after two years.
Bennett and his partners pieced together a coalition from across the political spectrum, including an independent Arab party for the first time in Israel’s history, after Netanyahu failed to form a government following the most recent vote in March. The one force that unites the coalition, an antipathy toward Netanyahu, is fading now that they have power and responsibility.
The new Israeli government will focus on restoring Israel’s traditional approach of seeking bipartisan American support after years of tension with American Democrats. In a statement, US President Biden said, “I look forward to working with Prime Minister Bennett to strengthen all aspects of the close and enduring relationship between our two nations.”
“Thank you Mr. President!” Bennett replied on Twitter. “I look forward to working with you to strengthen the ties between our two nations.” In his earlier speech to Parliament, however, Mr. Bennett hinted at disagreements to come, promising to continue Israel’s opposition to forging a new nuclear deal with Iran.
The Israeli are concerned also with domestic issues. Can the fragile and diverse ruling coalition survive? Will it accomplish any of its bold domestic reform agenda, from confirming judges to spurring economic growth? The different parties have indeed deep ideological differences, but they have said they wouldn’t try to solve major pre-existing issues and instead focus on improving the everyday lives of Israeli citizens.
However, the most important issue is a simple fact. For the first time since Israel’s formation in 1948, elected Arab leaders have not only lent their votes to a governing coalition, but joined it.
Traditionally, Arab parties have not been directly involved in Israeli governments. They have been largely rejected by other Israeli parties or they believed that their own voters wanted opposition, elegant dissent, not participation in the compromises of democracy.
After decades of political marginalization, many Palestinian citizens living west of the “Green Line,” who make up one-fifth of Israel’s population, have sought fuller integration. This is an enormous, historic shift – and it deserves more attention. If Arab political parties can join Israel’s governing coalition, only months after a number of
Arab governments from UAE to Morocco made peace with Israel, deep currents in Arab politics have changed. This opens the door for discussions toward a lasting peace.
And the weakness of the new coalition might be a strength in seeking peace. The coalition is unlikely to make any meaningful concessions to the Palestinians, which the United States and its allies are eagerly seeking. What it can do is focus on meeting the needs of the Arabs that live in Israel, with improved schools, hospitals, housing and jobs.
Responsibility therefore rests with Yair Lapid, a moderate voice who has shown remarkable political skill in inspiring the coalition and holding it together. He has also shone brightly in helping solidify Israel’s most important relationship, the one with the United States. Gen. Benny Gantz, who enjoys deep respect in Washington and beyond, is also playing a vital role. Together, these two men can be important catalysts in government.
One thing to watch is how the coalition treats its new Arab partners. Beyond commendable words and common interests, if the coalition provides tangible benefits to Israel’s Arabs, it will encourage deeper trust and participation in democratic politics.
The road is long, it takes patience, courage, and vision. Still, this coalition is holding the lightning of history in its hands.