December 5, 2022

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Israel

Biden has not yet called Netanyahu after winning the elections, despite calls for his rival, the Palestinian president

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.

Netanyahu looks forward to returning to power in Israel after fifth elections

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.”

Then Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem on March 9, 2016.
(Reuters / Debbie Hill)

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.

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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.

President Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

President Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.
(Jack Guise/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

UN panel votes for Israel to get rid of nuclear weapons, allow international inspectors

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.

Itamar Ben Gvir, left, and Bezalel Smotrich attend a mass rally with his supporters in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 26, 2022.

Itamar Ben Gvir, left, and Bezalel Smotrich attend a mass rally with his supporters in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on October 26, 2022.
(Jill Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images)

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. ”

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“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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