Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke late Wednesday afternoon (Aug 31) US President Joe Biden “at length” about the negotiations for a revived nuclear agreement with Iran. It’s not clear who called who.
In any event, the conversation came a week late: Lapid made an emergency call to the White House to speak with the president last Wednesday as the US was sending its response to Iran’s latest proposal over a “final” European offer to revive the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal.
But when the prime minister’s staff tried to arrange the phone call with the president to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, Lapid was given some surprising news.
Two senior Israeli officials told Israel’s Channel 13 News that when the prime minister tried reaching Israel’s “strongest ally,” he was informed “Biden is on vacation.”
Magically, just a few hours later Biden appeared on national television from the White House to announce a new midterm election-season plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for those with lower incomes.
Fast forward to Wednesday, August 31, after all the discussions with Europe and Iran were safely out the door, and voila! The president is available.
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Biden and Lapid discussed their “shared commitment to stopping Iran’s progress towards a nuclear weapon,” along with a few words about “recent events” and Iran’s terrorist activities in the region.
“In this context, the prime minister emphasized the importance of the strikes President Biden ordered in Syria,” the PMO said, adding the two men also discussed “advancing relations between their two countries building on the Jerusalem Declaration.”
“Building on the Jerusalem Declaration” is diplospeak for pressuring Israel into more concessions aimed at enticing the Palestinian Authority back to the negotiating table in hopes of reaching the internationally-cherished fantasy of the so-called “two state solution.”
According to Lapid’s office, “President Biden emphasized his deep commitment to the security of the State of Israel, and to preserving Israel’s capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself by itself against any threat.” (ed: italics added)
In the summer of 2014, during one of Israel’s multiple wars with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization — an Iranian proxy — the administration of then-President Barak Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, just when they were most needed.
In fact, the US actually cut off all communications with Israel’s Ministry of Defense purchasing offices in the US for days, according to a report at the time by Makor Rishon.
The crisis with the Obama administration in the middle of the war was first revealed by The Wall Street Journal, which reported at the time the Pentagon held up the transfer of Hellfire missiles that the IDF needed to replace weapons that had been deployed in the war.
The United States not only stopped shipping the missiles but also held up other requests for defense materials as well.