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Netanyahu still waiting for Biden’s phone call

The fact that US President Joe Biden is taking his time in calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the fact that he did not refer to Israel or to the Iranian threat in his first foreign policy speech, deeply worries Jerusalem.
HEBRON, WEST BANK - SEPTEMBER 04: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on the phone during an event marking the anniversary of the 1929 killing of 67 Jews by Palestinian rioters, on September 04, 2019 in Hebron, West Bank. Netanyahu is visiting Hebron ahead of Israel's elections on September 17th. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

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.”

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