Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu since election victory despite calls for rival Palestinian president

Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu since election victory despite calls for rival Palestinian president

Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu since election victory despite calls for rival Palestinian president

President Biden has yet to call Benjamin Netanyahu and congratulate him on this week’s election victory in Israel, albeit temporarily. Prime Minister Yair Lapid has accepted defeat.

A spokesperson for the National Security Council told Fox News Digital that President Biden would speak with Netanyahu “soon,” but avoided naming Netanyahu as the prime minister-elect, instead saying that “Mr. Netanyahu, after winning a majority in the Knesset, is likely to be in the business of forming a government in the coming days.” set.”

“The president has known and worked with Bibi Netanyahu for many years,” the spokesperson added. “They worked closely when Netanyahu was prime minister last year, and they met again during the president’s visit to Israel in July.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week called on Lapid to “praise Israel for its free and fair elections and thank the prime minister for his partnership,” as well as stressing his concerns about “elevated tensions” in the West Bank.

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But only US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides has directly congratulated Netanyahu so far, saying Thursday that he had a “good call” with Netanyahu and that he looks forward to “working together to maintain an unbreakable bond.”

Biden still hasn’t called Netanyahu since election victory despite calls for rival Palestinian president

Then-Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they make joint statements during their meeting on March 9, 2016, in Jerusalem.

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It was Biden and Blinken quickly recognize the newly elected president of Brazil Lula da Silva, while Jair Bolsonaro has not yet formally conceded defeat, instead simply authorized his chief of staff to begin the transition process, and Blinken called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to discuss “joint efforts” to increase Palestinian security and reaffirm commitment. to the two-state solution.

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The uneven response to each result sets an uneasy tone for the administration in the new Netanyahu administration. a source familiar with internal discussions told Fox News Digital that senior administration officials are reluctant to accept Netanyahu’s election victory.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, President Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

Part of that reluctance may have to do with anxiety about working backwards far-right party leader Itamar Ben-Gvirwho is poised to take on a significant role in Netanyahu’s new administration.

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Two officials told Axios this week that the Biden administration is “unlikely” to engage with Ben-Gvir, who they called a “Jewish supremacist.” Ben-Gvir has said he wants to be homeland security minister, putting himself in charge of policing and policy around Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich Israeli politicians

Itamar Ben-Gvir, left, and Bezalel Smotrich attend a rally with supporters on October 26, 2022 in the southern Israeli city of Sderot.

Joel Rubin, a former assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama, recently told Fox News Digital that the “likely composition” of Israel’s next government would include “some . serious challenges to American national security“.

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“The Biden administration will be asked to navigate this territory, which will require close coordination with Netanyahu himself as he tries to manage a coalition government that is difficult for Israeli-Arab relations,” Rubin said.



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