Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already busy forming a government, but has yet to receive a congratulatory phone call from U.S. President Joe Biden, several days after the result in the Nov. 1 election was finalized.
Netanyahu’s Likud Party was the largest, winning 32 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, as right-wing parties that have agreed to co-govern with Likud won 64 seats — the largest majority that any Israeli government will have enjoyed in several years, heralding a more stable coalition.
Still, despite the fact that the result was finalized on Thursday, Biden has yet to call Netanyahu, as other leaders have done. The Times of Israel reported:
On Friday, several Channel 12 reporters noted that Biden had yet to call. Few leaders have reached out to Netanyahu thus far, evidently waiting until he forms a coalition. Some, such as Hungary’s Victor Orban, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenksy and India’s Narendra Modi have tweeted out their congratulations after Netanyahu’s Likud party won 30 seats and his bloc of right-wing and religious parties secured a majority in the Knesset after four elections where it failed to do so.
Netanyahu did receive a call on Thursday from US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides who congratulated him and said he looked forward to working together to advance common values.
Channel 12 reported on Friday that Nides also told Netanyahu to expect a call from Biden in the coming days, while also noting that the president was busy campaigning for the midterm election which will take place in the US next Tuesday.
In contrast, President Biden congratulated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) of Brazil almost immediately after he won last Sunday’s election, and followed up his official statement with a telephone call the next day, though the election was close and disputed.
President Biden waited 28 days to call Netanyahu after Biden took office in January last year, suggesting the two governments would not be as close as the Trump administration had been with Israel.
In last May’s hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the new Biden administration tried pressuring Israel at first, until the Israeli government pushed back and it became clear that Hamas was fomenting riots in Jerusalem to win broader Arab and Muslim support for rocket launches at Israeli civilians.
Netanyahu is the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history, having governed from 1996 to 1999, and again from 2009 to 2021.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This post has been updated to include information about President Biden’s call to Lula of Brazil.
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