Analysts have also predicted for months that Mr. Netanyahu would make an appearance at Mr. Trump’s side during the closing weeks of the U.S. election campaign, both as a personal repayment to Mr. Trump for years of political support and to help ensure that his presidency and policies continue.
Mr. Trump has, after all, been very good to Mr. Netanyahu during a period when the Israeli leader has fought for his political survival. Just two weeks before Mr. Netanyahu faced a tight election vote early last year, for instance, Mr. Trump recognized Israel’s authority over the long-disputed Golan Heights. With Mr. Netanyahu facing another popular vote earlier this year, along with a fresh criminal indictment, Mr. Trump hosted him at the White House to unveil a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians that heavily favored Israeli interests.
Again managing multiple crises at home, Mr. Netanyahu will welcome a splashy event at the White House. He left for the airport Sunday night right after imposing a three-week national lockdown that will go into effect on Friday, just before the Jewish New Year and High Holy Days, a response to soaring morbidity rates that his zigzagging policy changes, repeatedly abandoned for political reasons, have failed to contain.
Demonstrations against Mr. Netanyahu have clogged the streets outside his residence in Jerusalem every weekend for months. And on Sunday, anti-corruption protesters filled the highway outside Ben-Gurion International Airport as he departed for the 48-hour excursion, with some holding signs demanding that it be a one-way trip.
The United Arab Emirates shares Mr. Netanyahu’s gratitude toward Mr. Trump. Like the Israeli leader, Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the Emirates, appreciates the American president’s hard line on Iran, withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and support for its close ally Saudi Arabia.
“I think the U.A.E.’s calculus was very much, this is a favor we’re doing to the Trump administration,” said Robert Malley, a former National Security Council official who oversaw Middle East affairs in the Obama White House. Mr. Malley said the Emirates’ mentality toward the Trump administration amounted to, “We owe them.”
He added that the Emirates, like Israel, are mindful that, if elected president, Joseph R. Biden Jr. would most likely follow policies less aligned with their own. Mr. Biden is expected to re-engage with Iran diplomatically, and his Democratic Party is heavy with influential critics of both Israel and the Gulf Arab monarchies.