Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then United States Vice President Joe Biden in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016.

Following a 12-hour delay, the President and the Prime Minister of Israel issued congratulatory messages to Joe Biden and a thank you to President Trump. Netanyahu recalled his long and warm relationship of almost 40 years with the Democratic winner, Rivlin suggested the strategic alliance between Israel and the US was stronger than any political leadership.


Netanyahu tweeted at 7:03 AM Israel time (midnight on the east coast): “Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joe, we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel.”

Netanyahu followed that up with a tweet to President Trump: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump  for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights.”

Sharp-eyed Bibi-watchers noted that Netanyahu was careful in his congratulatory message to not actually say outright that Joe Biden was elected president.

At 7:09 AM, President Rivlin tweeted: “I send the blessings of the Israeli people and of the State of Israel to our friend Joe Biden on your election as the 46th President of the United States of America. I also send congratulations and best wishes for your success, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.”

Rivlin added: “Mr. President-elect, as a long-standing friend of Israel, you are now the leader of the free world and of the State of Israel’s closest and most important ally. The strategic alliance between our two countries and peoples is stronger than any political leadership and is not based solely on friendship. It is rooted deeply in our shared values and in our long-standing commitment to freedom and democracy as the foundations of our societies.”

Rivlin then tweeted: “This is also the time to thank President Trump for four years of partnership in strengthening Israel’s security, and to thank the American people for their steadfast support and friendship.”

Opposition leader Yair Lapid (Yesh-Atid-Telem) tweeted: “Congratulations to my friend President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The relationship between our countries is based on deeply held values and critical shared interests which I know will be at the heart of your administration.”

Lapid added: “I look forward to working with the new administration and members of both parties in Congress to deepen and strengthen the special relationship between Israel and the United States.”

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett tweeted: “Israel is grateful to President Trump. We will work well with the new administration.”

Bennett concluded: Thank you, President Trump, on behalf of the Israeli people. You will always be remembered as a true friend of the state of Israel. You took truly revolutionary steps in the fortification of Israel’s existence. You brought the Embassy to Jerusalem, without fear.”

Defense Minister and Alternate PM Benny Gantz tweeted: “As the election results become final, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Joe Biden, a long-time supporter, and friend of Israel, and to his running mate, Kamala Harris, who has made history as the first woman elected VP. I look forward to continuing to deepen the steadfast bond and strong defense ties between our peoples, as allies in the effort to strengthen democracy, stability, and peace worldwide.”

Gantz then added: “I also wish to thank Donald Trump, a valuable partner of the State of Israel, committed to its security and invested in its future. The Middle East has taken major steps forward thanks to the president’s bold leadership over these four years, and for that, we are immensely grateful.”


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