Nov 8, 2020 - World

Netanyahu joins other leaders in congratulating Biden for beating Trump

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump in the East Room of the White House in January. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

More than 12 hours after the U.S. television networks called the presidential race for Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his congratulations to the president-elect.

Why it matters: Israel is one of the main allies of the U.S., but Netanyahu’s congratulatory tweet came long after most leaders around the world had already congratulated Biden.

What he's saying: "Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the U.S. and Israel," Netanyahu said in his congratulatory tweet just after midnight ET.

  • In a separate Twitter post, Netanyahu thanked President Trump "for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally … and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights."
  • Minister of Defense Benny Gantz waited until after Biden’s speech to congratulate him. "I look forward to continuing to deepen the steadfast bond and strong defense ties between our peoples, as allies in the effort to strengthen democracy, stability, and peace worldwide," he tweeted.
  • President Reuven Rivlin said: "As a long-standing friend of Israel, you are now the leader of the free world and of the State of Israel’s closest and most important ally."

The big picture: Netanyahu was Trump’s closest ally around the world and has tense relations with the Democrats. Netanyahu waited to congratulate Biden in order not to upset Trump, but he will have a difficult challenge building trust with Biden.

Go deeper: World leaders congratulate Biden on election victory

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