President-elect Joseph Biden has known Binyamin Netanyahu for forty years. While they both like and respect one another, they are not and will never be “bosom buddies”.
Biden has visited Israel several times over many years during his term as Vice-President under the Obama administration. He was more favorable to Israel than President Obama.
But one area in which Joe Biden is not supportive of Israel is the matter of the settlements which he believes to be illegal and a violation of previous agreements regarding the rights of the Palestinians.
When leaders from the major European countries called Joe Biden to congratulate him on his stunning victory over Donald Trump, the voice of Bibi Netanyahu remained rather silent before he finally placed a call.
He was, no doubt, hoping that a recount of the ballots might yet be in favor of his “best buddy” Donald.
Netanyahu’s delay in extending best wishes to president-elect Biden was Bibi’s failure and Israel may pay a price for it.
While Trump and Netanyahu, two of a kind of autocrats, were bound at the hip, Bibi was successful in receiving everything he possibly wanted from his pal in the White House. He was even permitted to wash his dirty laundry in the White House on his previous visit.
Israelis now have a lesson in democracy, something that was slowly but gradually disappearing under the Netanyahu regime. Tens of thousands march in protest in all major Israeli cities demanding the resignation of a corrupt prime minister.
There are few if none protest marches denouncing the Democrat victory over the Republicans.
Americans went to the polling booths and dropped their ballots in little boxes or pulled the levers in the concealed voting booths and waited impatiently for the exciting results to be made public.
Bibi’s friend Donald is unable to accept defeat. All his life he has been a winner, but now, the winds of change have reduced him to the role of a past-president and a great golfer.
Joseph Biden has half a century of political experience whereas Trump had none prior to the 2016 election.
Biden is not accustomed to name-calling his potential threats to office. To Trump it is second nature and for him, Joseph Biden, a former vice-president, is merely “sleepy Joe”.
Well, to Trump’s anguish and bitterness, “sleepy” Joe awoke and on 20 January 2021 he will be occupying Trump’s former Oval Office in the White House with his wife Jill and his vice-president Kamala Harris and her Jewish husband Doug. A happier White House has not been seen in decades.
Number one issue on the Biden plate is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic in America. Diplomatic relations with Iran are not yet on his menu. Possibly at a later time. Relations with Israel will no doubt remain the same cordial friendship with a Biden push for reconciliation with the Palestinians who are long over-due talks about a future Palestinian State.
Biden is a religious man, a Catholic, whose faith compels him to pursue justice and righteousness as first stated in the Hebrew bible.
His relationships with Bibi will be cordial and professional. But unlike Bibi, he will never be a puppet whose strings can be pulled.
Bibi’s delayed greetings to Biden will not affect the new American president’s care and compassion for the Jewish State but it will certainly be a less warming relationship with Netanyahu.
Rumor in America has it that on 20 January 2021 when Trump’s four years in office officially come to an end, he will stubbornly refuse to concede his defeat and will not willingly vacate the White House.
Rumor further states that if such an unfortunate situation were to occur, the new 46th American president could legally call in the Capitol police to physically remove Donald Trump from the White House.
Such a tragic situation would go down badly in American history books.
But, on the other hand, if Donald Trump had to be removed by police, it might set a good example for us in Israel.
Imagine Bibi being escorted out of the Balfour residence with poor Sara and vile Yair trailing behind in shame.
I doubt that it will ever come to that, but I can dream, can’t I ?