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Biden (L) with Netanyahu in 2010. Photo: Baz Ratner-Pool/Getty Images

President-elect Biden spoke on the phone today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as part of series of congratulatory phone calls with leaders around the world.

The big picture: The order in which these calls are returned by an incoming president is closely watched. Biden called Netanyahu and Rivlin after speaking with the leaders of nine other U.S. allies over the past few days.

Flashback: President Trump spoke with Netanyahu the day after he was elected in 2016, along with the leaders of several other countries including Egypt. America's closest European allies were left waiting a bit longer.

  • Biden, by contrast, started with Canada and then moved to U.S. allies in Europe (France, Germany, the U.K., Ireland and Italy) and the Asia-Pacific (Australia, Japan and South Korea). Biden also spoke with Pope Francis.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a call with Biden shortly after Netanyahu's.
  • Between the lines: That might be an indication that Biden skipped over America's other Middle East allies, perhaps to emphasize the importance of working with fellow democracies.

What they're saying:

  • It is unclear whom Biden called first, but Rivlin was first to issue a statement: “As a long-standing friend of the State of Israel, you know that our friendship is based on values that are beyond partisan politics and that we have no doubt that, under your leadership, the United States is committed to Israel’s security and success."
  • Rivlin added he hoped to work with Biden “to build further bridges and hope across the region as the recently signed Abraham Accords have done." He invited Biden for a meeting in Jerusalem and asked him to also convey his best wishes to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
  • After his own 20-minute call with Biden, Netanyahu issued a statement referring for the first time to Biden as “the President-elect." Netanyahu said Biden stressed in the call that he is deeply committed to Israel’s security.

What’s next: Netanyahu said in his statement that he and Biden agreed to meet soon in order to strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance.

Go deeper: Incoming Israeli ambassador will have to win over Democrats

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden turns the page on Trump's Israel-Palestine policies

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: David Furst/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.