After Trump Loss, Netanyahu Defends His Conduct of Relations With US, Says He Has Good Ties With Both Parties
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his record on relations with the United States on Tuesday, saying his conduct had not harmed the Jewish state’s relationship with the Democratic Party.
Netanyahu’s comments came in a speech at the Knesset after he was attacked by Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, who asserted Netanyahu had damaged Israel’s standing by his closeness with the Trump administration over the past four years.
“For 38 years, I have invested endless efforts in strengthening our relations with the US across its political spectrum, with presidents, with Congress and the Senate, with public opinion, with hundreds and hundreds of interviews on television, radio, communications outlets from the right and from the left,” Netanyahu said.
He went on the call it “absurd” that Lapid was “explaining to me how to protect the connection with both parties.”
“I have a warm and years-long connection with [US President-elect] Joe Biden, who I first met as a young senator while I served as Israel’s envoy in Washington in 1982,” Netanyahu noted. “Since then we met and talked many, many times.”
“What’s more, every time I arrive at the Capitol, I always meet with leaders of both parties, in Congress and the Senate,” Netanyahu recalled. “And when the senators and representatives come to Israel, I like to meet every one of them — in time of peace, in time of war, any time. Democrats and Republicans, there is no difference.”
Lapid stood by his criticism, charging, “Netanyahu’s attempt to claim that he protected good relations with the Democrats is embarrassing,” and accusing the prime minister of a “disconnect from what has happened in the US in recent years.”
The prime minister, Lapid asserted, had “endangered the special relationship between Israel and the US.”