President-elect Biden spoke by phone today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as part of a series of congratulatory phone calls with leaders around the world.
The Big Picture: The order in which these calls are answered by the incoming president is closely watched. Biden called Netanyahu and Rivlin after speaking with the leaders of nine other US allies over the past few days.
recovery: President Trump spoke with Netanyahu the day after his election in 2016, along with leaders of several other countries, including Egypt. America’s closest European allies were left to wait a little longer.
- By contrast, Biden started with Canada and then moved to US allies in Europe (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy) and Asia-Pacific (Australia, Japan, and South Korea). Biden also spoke with Pope Francis.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi He announced a call with Biden shortly after Netanyahu called.
- Between the lines: This could be an indication that Biden has overtaken America’s other allies in the Middle East, perhaps to stress the importance of working with other democracies.
what are they saying:
- It is not clear who contacted Biden first, but Rivlin was the first to issue a statement: “As an old friend of the State of Israel, you know that our friendship is based on values that transcend party politics, and we have no doubt that the United States under your leadership is committed to Israel’s security and success.”
- Rivlin added that he hopes to work with Biden “to build more bridges and hope throughout the region, as did the recently signed Abraham Agreements.” Biden called a meeting in Jerusalem and asked him also to convey his best wishes to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
- After his 20-minute call with Biden, Netanyahu issued a statement that first referred to Biden as “the president-elect.” Netanyahu said that Biden emphasized in the call that he was firmly committed to Israel’s security.
What’s Next: In his statement, Netanyahu said that he agreed with Biden to meet soon in order to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Israel.