President Biden has yet to call Benjamin Netanyahu and congratulate him on his victory in Israel’s elections this week, although it is temporary. Prime Minister Yair Lapid admitted defeat.
A National Security Council spokesperson told Fox News Digital that President Biden would speak with Netanyahu “soon,” but avoided naming Netanyahu the prime minister-elect — instead saying that “Mr Netanyahu, after winning a majority in the Knesset, will likely task her with forming a government during the coming days.”
“The president has Known and worked with Bibi Netanyahu “They have worked closely together for many years” when Netanyahu was prime minister last year, and they met again during the president’s visit to Israel in July, the spokesperson added.
This week, Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken called on Lapid to “praise Israel for its free and fair elections, and to thank the prime minister for his partnership” as well as reiterate his concerns about “escalating tensions” in the West Bank.
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But only US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Niedes has directly congratulated Netanyahu so far, saying on Thursday that he had a “good call” with Netanyahu and that he was looking forward to “working together to preserve the unbreakable bond.”
It was Biden and Blinken Quick to recognize the president-elect of Brazil Lula da Silva Although Jair Bolsonaro has yet to officially concede defeat, instead simply authorizing the chief of staff to begin the transition process – Blinken on Friday called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss “joint efforts” to bolster Palestinian security and reaffirm commitment to a two-state solution.
Netanyahu’s victory in Israeli elections presents a “Stark challenge” to US Middle East policy
The disparity in reaction to each outcome sets an uncomfortable 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 acknowledge Netanyahu’s election victory.
Part of this reluctance may relate to being uncomfortable working with Far-right party leader Itamar Ben Juffairwho stands ready to assume a prominent role in Netanyahu’s new administration.
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Two officials told Axios this week that the Biden administration was “unlikely” to reach out to Ben Juffair, whom they described as a “Jewish fanatic.” Ben Gvir said he wanted to be Minister of Homeland Security, giving him responsibility for police and policies regarding holy sites in Jerusalem.
Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state under President Barack Obama, told Fox News Digital recently that the “potential makeup” of the next Israeli government would provide “some glaring challenges to US national security. ”
“The Biden administration will be challenged to navigate this space, which will require close coordination with Netanyahu himself, personally, at a time when he is trying to manage a governing coalition challenging the Israeli-Arab relations,” Rubin said.
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