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November 8, 2020 1:11 pm

Israeli Leaders From Right and Left Congratulate Biden and Harris, Thank Trump After Election Results Finally Declared

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Former US Vice President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, March 2016. Photo: US Embassy Tel Aviv/Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli political leaders from across the political spectrum sent congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Sunday, after they were declared the winners of the US presidential election.

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent “congratulations” to Biden and Harris, saying, “I have a long and warm personal connection with Joe Biden for nearly 40 years, and I know him as a great friend of the State of Israel.”

“I am certain that we will continue to work with both of them in order to further strengthen the special alliance between Israel and the US,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu also thanked President Donald Trump for “the great friendship he showed the State of Israel and me personally.”

“I congratulate him on recognizing Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, for his stand on Iran, for the historic peace accords, and for bringing the alliance between Israel and the US to unprecedented heights,” he concluded.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also extended “heartfelt congratulations” to Biden and Harris, particularly the latter for becoming the first female vice president.

“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 said.

The defense minister thanked Trump as well, saying, “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.”

President Reuven Rivlin said that he sent 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.”

“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 president went on.

“I have no doubt that our special relations and multifaceted cooperation will continue to flourish and grow in the future,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Rivlin then invited Biden to visit Jerusalem “as our guest.”

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi congratulated Biden and Harris, and said, “The President-elect’s friendship and distinguished record of support for Israel dates back nearly half a century.”

“I strongly believe that under his leadership the strategic indispensable alliance between our two countries will continue to flourish and prosper,” he added.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid issued a statement in Hebrew congratulating Biden and Harris, and said he was “certain” that the US-Israeli alliance will be “at the heart of your work.”

“I expect to work with the new government and members of Congress from both parties in order to deepen and strengthen the special relationship between Israel and the United States,” he added.

“I wish you luck with all my heart,” Lapid said to Biden and Harris.

Far-Right Yamina party leader Naftali Bennett concentrated on praising Trump for being a “true friend” of Israel, thanking him for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan, bringing “peace without giving up land,” and making “it clear the focus of the region is not the Palestinians.”

“We will never forget this and we will always remain thankful,” he said.

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