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Yair Lapid. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said in a ceremony on his first day in office on Monday that the new government must repair Israel's relationship with the Democratic Party, which he said had badly deteriorated during Benjamin Netanyahu’s tenure as prime minister.

What he's saying: "The previous government took a bad and lightheaded bet to focus only on the Republican Party and abandon Israel’s bipartisan status in America," said Lapid, who is also the alternate prime minister and heads the biggest faction in the new coalition. He called Netanyahu's behavior toward the democrats "disgraceful and dangerous."

  • "The Republicans are important to us, but not only them," Lapid added. "We find ourselves with a Democratic White House and a Democratic Congress. Those Democrats are angry at us, and we need to change that."

The backstory: Netanyahu publicly feuded with Barack Obama over the Iran nuclear deal, wholeheartedly embraced Donald Trump, and has recently been emphasizing his willingness to break with President Biden on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

  • Israel's new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, takes similar stances to Netanyahu on both of those issues, but he's stressed the need for good relations with Biden.
  • After their new government was sworn in, Bennett spoke with Biden and Lapid spoke with Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
  • Lapid is expected to visit Washington in the coming weeks for talks with Blinken and other Biden administration officials.

The big picture: Lapid said in his speech that Israel has to prepare for a U.S. return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

  • He said it was a bad deal but that Israel could have more influence on the outcome by having a different kind of dialogue with the Biden administration than Netanyahu did with Obama.

Worth noting: Lapid also stressed that the Israeli government needs to improve its relationship with the Jewish community in the U.S.

  • He praised Jordan’s King Abdullah II, with whom Netanyahu had been clashing, and said Israel must improve its relationship with Jordan.
  • On the Palestinian issue, Lapid said he doesn’t see a possible breakthrough toward a peace deal but said Israel needs to improve the dialogue with the Palestinians and the situation on the ground.

Go deeper: Netanyahu is out as new Israeli government survives confidence vote

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2021 - World

Iran officials ready to restart nuclear talks with world powers

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addresses the participants via video conference at the 76th session of United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21. Photo: Iranian Presidency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Iranian officials said Tuesday they expect nuclear talks with world powers to resume in the "next few weeks," but they signaled they would take a tougher stance against the U.S, per the state-run IRNA news agency.

Why it matters: The talks to salvage the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have been stalled since June, when hardliner President Ebrahim Raisi was elected to office.

Sep 20, 2021 - World

North Korea warns U.S. risks "nuclear arms race" with submarine deal

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in 2019. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

North Korea warned of possible "counteraction" if it finds the new U.S. deal to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia is a threat to its security, per a statement published by the state-run KCNA news agency Monday.

Details: The North Korean Foreign Ministry statement said both the U.S. security partnership with the U.K. and Australia, known as AUKUS, and the submarine deal were "extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region and trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race."

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.