Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already busy forming a government, but has yet to receive a congratulatory phone call from U.S. President Joe Biden, several days after the result in the Nov. 1 election was finalized.
Netanyahu’s Likud Party was the largest, winning 32 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, as right-wing parties that have agreed to co-govern with Likud won 64 seats — the largest majority that any Israeli government will have enjoyed in several years, heralding a more stable coalition.
Still, despite the fact that the result was finalized on Thursday, Biden has yet to call Netanyahu, as other leaders have done. The Times of Israel reported:
On Friday, several Channel 12 reporters noted that Biden had yet to call. Few leaders have reached out to Netanyahu thus far, evidently waiting until he forms a coalition. Some, such as Hungary’s Victor Orban, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenksy and India’s Narendra Modi have tweeted out their congratulations after Netanyahu’s Likud party won 30 seats and his bloc of right-wing and religious parties secured a majority in the Knesset after four elections where it failed to do so.
Netanyahu did receive a call on Thursday from US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides who congratulated him and said he looked forward to working together to advance common values.
Channel 12 reported on Friday that Nides also told Netanyahu to expect a call from Biden in the coming days, while also noting that the president was busy campaigning for the midterm election which will take place in the US next Tuesday.
In contrast, President Biden congratulated Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) of Brazil almost immediately after he won last Sunday’s election, and followed up his official statement with a telephone call the next day, though the election was close and disputed.