Netanyahu responds to Trump attack, says ‘it was important’ to congratulate Biden

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday defended congratulating President Biden on his win in the 2020 presidential election, saying doing so “was important” given the prominence of the U.S.-Israel alliance, Axios reported.

“I highly appreciate President Trump’s big contribution to Israel and its security. I also appreciate the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the U.S. and therefore it was important for me to congratulate the incoming President,” Netanyahu said in a statement on Friday, according to the news outlet.

Netanyahu’s comments come after Axios reported that Trump was upset with Netanyahu, now his country’s opposition leader, after he made a video message congratulating Biden.

“He was very early — like, earlier than most. I haven’t spoken to him since. F— him,” Trump, who was close to Netanyahu throughout his presidency, told Axios journalist Barak Ravid during a 90-minutes interview in April at Mar-a-Lago.

“For Bibi Netanyahu, before the ink was even dry, to do a message, and not only a message, to do a tape to Joe Biden talking about their great, great friendship — they didn’t have a friendship, because if they did, [the Obama administration] wouldn’t have done the Iran deal,” Trump lamented to the news outlet. “And guess what, now they’re going to do it again.”

Trump called the move a “terrible mistake” and claimed that he did more for the former Israeli prime minister “than any other person I dealt with.”

He claimed among the moves he took to assist the country included recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli territory, keeping troops in the area and changing the U.S. Embassy to be situated in Jerusalem, according to Axios. 

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu Bibi Netanyahu Donald Trump Donald Trump Israel Joe Biden

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