“Might it now be time to call the leader of Israel, the closest ally of the US?” tweeted Israel’s former UN envoy.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to pick up the phone and call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Might it now be time to call the leader of Israel, the closest ally of the US?” tweeted Danny Danon. “The PM’s number is: 972-2-6705555.
However, Danon’s tweet appeared to be more for the effect, as the number he gave is actually an unlisted number that results in a recorded message in Hebrew saying, “you have dialed a wrong number.”
Danon listed 10 countries that had already received phone calls from Biden, whose lack of call to Netanyahu has been given wide coverage in the Israeli press as the leader of the free world talks to more leaders during his fifth week in office.
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who worked with Biden during the Obama administration, said Israelis should not be too worried that Biden hasn’t called yet.
“How he has spent his time, and the leaders he has spoken to, is a very clear reflection of the priorities and the emergencies that he inherits as president,” Shapiro told Times of Israel . “I don’t think there’s any other explanation.”
“He’s taking office facing more crises and emergencies both at home and abroad than any president since Franklin Roosevelt,” said Shapiro, who remained in Israel where he has been working with the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “He’s been very disciplined about focusing on those priorities.”
“The timing of a phone call is utterly irrelevant,” Shapiro said.
Asked on Thursday why Biden has yet to talk with Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president will be talking with the Israeli leader “soon.”
“Obviously there’s an important relationship that the United States has with Israel on the security front and as a key partner in the region,” Psaki said. “He’ll be talking with him soon – I don’t have a specific date or time for you on that call yet.”