Nov 7, 2020 - World

Unlike other world leaders, Netanyahu is waiting to congratulate Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been silent on the U.S. elections, and unlike many world leaders still hasn't congratulated President-elect Joe Biden.

What they're saying: Netanyahu aides say he is "waiting for the official results."

Why it matters: Netanyahu released a video congratulating President-elect Trump the morning after the 2016 election. Netanyahu, who had a very close relationship with Trump, wants to wait as long as possible, in the hopes that Trump will concede.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu's office sent talking points to Likud ministers for press interviews earlier on Saturday, one of which said that Israel will work with Biden and the Democrats, much like it worked with Trump and the Republicans.

  • Netanyahu’s office also asked Likud ministers to stress in interviews that Israel hopes the Biden administration continues to push forward normalization between Israel and Arab states and keep a tough policy regarding Iran.
  • The prime minister's office also wants to be sure Biden does not roll back Trump decisions like recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights or moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
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