image Photo: Flash90, Reuters

Biden congratulates Netanyahu

The telephone call came six days after national Israeli elections in which Benjamin Netanyahu emerged as the clear winner.

By Erin Viner

During the eight-minute conversation, United States President Joe Biden commended the presumptive premier on Israel’s free and fair elections.

The US leader also “reaffirmed the strength of the bilateral partnership and underscored his unwavering support for Israeli security,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.

Netanyahu underscored his personal commitment to the Israel-US alliance. In a later message on Twitter, he said that he additionally to Biden that together, they can “achieve more peace agreements and deal with the threat of Iranian aggression.”

Israel, during Netanyahu’s previous term, normalized ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain through US mediation.

The country’s fifth election in less than four years heralded a comeback for Netanyahu, now bolstered by smaller ultranationalist and religious parties. The triumphant rightwing bloc includes Knesset Member Itamar Ben-Gvir, a former member of the militant Kach group that is on both Israeli and US terrorist watchlists.

According to Israel’s electoral process, Netanyahu must still be officially tasked by President Isaac Herzog with forming a government, which could take weeks.

While Washington has publicly reserved judgment pending the formation of the next Israeli coalition, White House Spokesperson Jean-Pierre said, “We will continue to closely monitor the government formation process.”

The United States is looking forward “to continuing to work with the Israeli government on our shared interests and values,” she added.