Dr. Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the US, spoke to Arutz Sheva and related to the victory of Joe Biden in the US presidential election.

“Joe Biden is a good man, he’s an honest man, he’s pro-Israel. I worked with him very closely for five years that I was ambassador in Washington,” he said.

At the same time, added Oren, “we have to be ready for the fact that there’s a different administration with a different policy and on two issues in particular. On the peace process with the Palestinians and on the Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration’s policies will be different than those of Trump’s and more similar to those of President Obama.”

“I don’t think that our issues will be at the top of the agenda, certainly not the Palestinian issue,” Oren estimated, noting that upon entering office, Biden will have to deal with the coronavirus, the economy and the deep divisions within American society.

“Even at the level of foreign policy, we’re not at the top of his agenda. There’s going to be US-Chinese relationship, US-Russia relationship, climate accords, NATO…there’s a long list of issues he’s going to have to address before he gets to us,” he added.

On the issue of the Iran nuclear deal, Oren noted that Biden has made clear he intends to rejoin the deal from which Trump withdrew. As such, he said, “it is very important for us to enter into an immediate and intimate discussion with the President-elect and his team about what are Israel’s expectations, what are Israel’s interests, and even to publish those interests, something we did not do in 2015 when Obama was President.”

He acknowledged that there are members of the progressive wing of the Democratic party who want to cut off relations with Israel, but stressed, “Of the Democratic frontrunners, [Biden and Kamala Harris] were the two most pro-Israel. They’ve both said expressly they would never use aid to Israel as a means of coercing Israel to make concessions. That’s very important. Both president-elect Biden and vice president-elect Harris are deeply committed to the US-Israel strategic alliance.”

The Obama years in office were a different time, said Oren, but “Joe Biden is not that type of ideologue. He has a longstanding commitment to Israel. He belongs to that generation which remembers the 1967 [Six Day] War, the 1973 [Yom Kippur] War. Barack Obama belonged to a very different generation. Joe Biden is not part of that worldview.”

Israel, first and foremost, needs to congratulate Biden, he opined. “America is our ultimate ally, America is our sister democracy and we should respect that system as they should respect our position at the polls. Having said that, understand that Joe Biden is pro-Israel, vice president-elect Harris is very pro-Israel and we should be candid and up front and enter that type of conversation that best friends can have, and say, ‘We may disagree about this, but this is our interest. This is what we think will work.’ This will be extremely important on the Iran issue. If we do that, I think we’ll be perfectly fine.”