As of this morning, Feb. 5, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to bite his nails as he waits by the phone for a long-anticipated call from the White House. Just as Netanyahu took his time congratulating US President-elect Joe Biden on his election victory over President Donald Trump in November, so now-President Biden is taking his time getting back to him. This would never have happened with Trump. Phoning Netanyahu was at the top of his to-do list when he took office in 2017. Four years later, Netanyahu has been relegated to the sidelines. The cushioned, pampered Trump protege finds himself being punished, sent to stand in the corner.
“This may not be deliberate,” an Israeli diplomatic source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “The Americans are not really focused right now on Netanyahu and his business; they have other things to deal with. Maybe Biden just doesn’t feel like handing Netanyahu an electoral advantage on the eve of Israel’s elections. After all, Biden is fully aware of who he is dealing with and knows how Netanyahu’s office will spin the first phone call between them.”