When the North Carolina-born William J. Burns ended his US Foreign Service in 2014, though not before serving his country as a top diplomat for a period less than thirty-three years, Tamir Pardo, was in the middle of his stint as the head of the Mossad. The lanky spymaster would serve one of the most feared Intelligence agencies in the world for another two years (until the end of his term in 2016), though presiding over a particularly tense period in 2014.
Seven years back in time, the Middle East was stymied by an intense 7-week period that marked itself as the Gaza war.
This was a time where Israel was launching a counter-attack program to stop heavy rocket fire from Gaza, which meant the Israeli presence at the Gaza strip was embroiled, as usual, in direct front-line attack as also the usual rhetoric that’s been painted around the Jewish state ever since its formation back in 1948.
Now that William J. Burns has not visited Israel previously, but now that he finds himself in the great land of heroes like Golda Meir, Meir Amit, and Rafi Eitan, and that too as the Director of the CIA, not an awful lot has changed in Israel, the land often mired in extreme geopolitical tension with its immediate neighbors.
It’s as if, the sudden visit to the aggressive and often, volatile part of the Middle East, has only undergone a slight narrative change. And how’s that? Though tensions for Israel haven’t changed as such, it’s current focus has merely shifted to another nation, one with whom it doesn’t enjoy ceaselessly smooth diplomatic relations: Iran.
That being said, what has led the 65-year-old CIA chief to land foot in Israel in an all too sudden a visit? And what exact tensions or their escalations- if any- would the United States help Israel solve with a country that was the second-ever Muslim-majority country to recognize the Jewish state?
What’s also being told is that in addition to engaging in ‘high-level’ talks with Israeli officials, one of which certainly is David Barnea, who’s recently taken over from Yossi Cohen as the head of the Mossad, Burns will be discussing the tense current ties being experienced with Palestine.
In what is the first working meet between two spy maestros from the United States and Israel, the CIA’s presence in Israel could well be a highly-followed event, specifically given the reason that the American patriot’s visit, one who’s been recognised as Commandeur, Legion of Honour (France), comes against the backdrop of Iran wanting to fully achieve its nuclear capabilities.
As it is it, the new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has solemnly pledged himself toward Iran’s endeavour to achieve full nuclear capabilities.
Meanwhile, the following were excerpts in a news report published on Haaretz:
In addition, Burns is expected to discuss Iran’s involvement in a wave of attacks in recent months against Western targets and Israeli-owned ships.
The visit, meanwhile, will not merely be restricted to Israel, but will also consider close talks with Palestine, as the United States holds ties with both frequently warring neighbours.
Furthermore, the Israeli publication added, “The CIA Director will also visit the West Bank, where he is slated to meet with Palestinian intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to the report, the CIA maintains close ties with the Palestinian security forces, which were kept even during Trump’s term when cooperation was halted.”