The long-awaited call between the prime minister and the president finally took place. Here’s what was said.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening spoke with President Joe Biden. The conversation was very warm and friendly and continued for approximately one hour, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“The two leaders noted their longstanding personal connection and said that they would work together to continue strengthening the steadfast alliance between Israel and the U.S.
Biden and Netanyahu discussed the future advancement of the peace accords, the Iranian threat and regional challenges, and agreed to continue their dialogue.
Biden also commended Prime Minister Netanyahu on his leadership in the fight against the coronavirus; the two exchanged ideas on ways to deal with the pandemic.
Much has been made of the failure of Biden to reach out to Israel’s leader until now. On Tuesday, a new reason was floated – Biden didn’t want to help Netanyahu in Israel’s March 23 elections.
The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday: “The Biden administration does not want to give the impression of interfering in the upcoming election and is concerned that Netanyahu would try to spin the phone call to gain political points, sources from two Israeli political parties who have been in contact with administration officials said.”
Netanyahu and his supporters were quick to dismiss concerns about the lack of a call. “The Israel-U.S. alliance is strong, and so is our friendship of almost 40 years, though we may not agree on everything,” Netanyahu said last week.
Israeli pundits and politicians began to speak publicly about the failure to call as more time passed. Danny Danon, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, said Biden should pick up the phone. “Might it now be time to call the leader of #Israel, the closest ally of the #US?” Danon wrote in a Feb. 10 tweet.