The Jerusalem Post

Biden and Bennett’s cautiously optimistic start


US President Joe Biden’s phone call to new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett this week says a lot about how the sides hope to start their new relationsh­ip and the one between their respective countries.

Bennett had actually gotten a congratula­tory letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin before Biden’s call came in, and the communicat­ions team that he brought with him from the campaign trail planned to release it to the public right after translatin­g it.

The Prime Minister’s Office diplomatic staff stopped them – not only because they’re the ones meant to send the readouts, according to the law, but also because they knew that Biden’s call was on the way and said it should be the first statement sent to the press, to emphasize the close US-Israel relationsh­ip. That is what ultimately happened, to the Russians’ dismay.

Biden was in Cornwall, England, for the G7, but he made sure to talk to Bennett less than two hours after he was sworn in as prime minister.

Biden and Bennett have never met, in sharp contrast to former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has known the US president

for 40 years. Netanyahu and Biden call each other friends, Biden has said many times in speeches that he “loves” Netanyahu, even if they disagree, and Netanyahu

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