With Joe Biden the apparent winner of the US presidential election, world leaders have been busy congratulating the former vice president. Israel’s prime minister and president said their congratulations over the weekend, and according to The Jerusalem Post, Israeli officials are already looking to discuss long-term military aid with the president-elect.
An Israeli defense source told the Post that a new multibillion-dollar military aid package would be something Israel wants to discuss with Biden right away. The current aid package to Israel is massive. It allocates $3.8 billion to Israel in military aid every year until 2027. The deal was signed in 2016 under the Obama administration, and Israel received its first $3.8 billion in 2018.
“We will want to talk about a new package and program,” the source said. “The new plan will need to take into account the changing threats and challenges we face in the Middle East.”
While President Trump has been extremely pro-Israel, Israeli officials don’t seem to be worried about much changing under a Biden administration. On Sunday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin invited Biden to visit Jerusalem and called the president-elect “a longstanding friend of Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Biden on his victory. “I would like to start with congratulations for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Netanyahu said in a statement from his office. “I have a long and warm personal connection with Joe Biden for nearly 40 years, and I know him as a great friend of the State of Israel. I am certain that we will continue to work with both of them in order to further strengthen the special alliance between Israel and the US.”
Netanyahu also thanked President Trump for “the great friendship he showed the State of Israel and me personally. I congratulate him on recognizing Jerusalem [as the capital] and [Israeli sovereignty over] the Golan Heights, for his stand on Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the alliance between Israel and the US to unprecedented heights.”
Biden has said he would not reverse President Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A Biden campaign official told the Jewish News Syndicate that a Biden administration would also not reverse Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967.