19:53 GMT26 February 2021
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    Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed to turn a blind eye to the lack of Washington-Tel Aviv contact, stressing that the bilateral “alliance is strong and so is our friendship of almost 40 years”.

    Dani Dayan, a former Israeli consul-general in New York, has described US President Joe Biden’s failure to call Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “a clear sign of displeasure” from POTUS.  

    Dayan told reporters that in the past 12 years, Netanyahu has been perceived in Washington “as almost a card-carrying member of the Republican Party”.

    He spoke as White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said during a press conference that Biden not making a phone call to Netanyahu is “not an intentional diss”.

    “Prime Minister Netanyahu is someone the president has known for some time. It is just a reflection of the fact that we’ve been here for three-and-a-half weeks. He’s not called every single global leader yet, and he is eager to do that in the weeks ahead,” Psaki insisted.

    In his first three weeks in office, Biden made a number of phone calls to Washington’s allies around the world, including to the leaders of Russia, China, Mexico, Britain, India, France, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

    Notably, former US presidents Donald Trump and  Barack Obama, spoke to Netanyahu within days of their taking office.

    The Israeli Prime Minister, for his part, was not that concerned over the lack of contact from Washington, arguing that Biden “is making calls to world leaders according to the order he sees fit”.

    “The Israel-US alliance is strong and so is our friendship of almost 40 years, though we may not agree on everything,” Netanyahu underlined.

    The statement came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested that the new US administration would not stick to Trump’s move to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau that Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

    Netanyahu’s office responded to Blinken’s statement by arguing that the area “will remain forever a part of the State of Israel”.

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    alliance, phone call, Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden, Israel, US
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