Biden congratulates election of new Israeli president amid agreement to oust Netanyahu

President BidenJoe BidenPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks State school board leaves national association saying they called parents domestic terrorists Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases MORE congratulated Israel's new president on his election on Wednesday amid the potential ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE.

Israel’s parliament elected center-left politician Isaac Herzog to the nation’s No. 2 post. He is expected to assume to the role in July at the end of the seven-year term of current Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Biden made no mention of Netanyahu in his statement late Wednesday, hours after a coalition reported to Rivlin that it had reached an agreement to replace the prime minister amid political turmoil in the country.

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Biden said in the statement that he “extend my warm congratulations to Isaac Herzog on his election to serve as the 11th President of the State of Israel.”

“Throughout his career, President-elect Herzog has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to strengthening Israel’s security, advancing dialogue, and building bridges across the global Jewish community,” Biden said. “I am confident that under his presidency, the partnership between Israel and the United States will continue to grow and deepen.”

Biden also thanked Rivlin “for his many years of service to the people of Israel.” The president said he looked forward to welcoming Rivlin to Washington “in the weeks ahead to honor his dedication to the enduring partnership and the close friendship between our two nations.” 

Netanyahu has ruled for 12 consecutive years, and previously held a stint from 1996 to 1999, making him one of the country's most powerful premiers. But he failed several times to form a coalition that would keep him in power as the country faced four elections in two years.

The power-sharing deal to oust Netanyahu between Yair Lapid of the center-left Yesh Atid party and Naftali Bennett of the right-wing Yamina party would have Bennett serve the first two years of a four-year term, and Lapid finish the second two-year term.

Eight parties in total are parties to the deal, and includes the Arab group Raam, the first time in history an Arab group is part of a right-wing coalition. The Israeli parliament will now hold a confidence vote in the coming days to confirm the coalition’s status as the ruling government.