Biden and Rivlin
Biden and RivlinHaim Zach/GPO

Monday’s meeting between US President Joe Biden and President Reuven Rivlin lasted beyond the time that was allotted to it, and according to a senior Israeli official who was present at the meeting, the issues that were raised touched on the significant challenges facing Israel in the various arenas.

Rivlin spoke at length with Biden about Iran and even conveyed messages from Jerusalem on the subject. The American representatives were very interested in the Israeli information and listened with great attention.

The senior official was under the impression that the Americans were open to hearing alternatives to resolving the Iranian issue.

Biden himself made clear during the meeting that Israel has the right to do what it sees fit regarding Iran. As far as the Iranian issue is concerned, the impression was given that the United States is very concerned about President-elect Ebrahim Raisi.

The second issue brought up during the meeting was Israel's need to deal with threats from within civilian populations. Israel's need for precision weapons to address these challenges was brought up in the conversation.

The third issue was the Palestinian Arab issue. In the conversation, President Rivlin said that a two-state solution is an irrelevant proposal today. In terms of the need to maintain security, he made clear that in his view there is no room for another sovereign on the ground but stressed that he is not an authority on the issue in his status as President.

During the meeting, the issue of the support Hamas receives among the Palestinian Arab public, which further clarifies that the two-state solution is currently irrelevant, was brought up.

Regarding the new government in Israel, sources were under the impression that the new administration in Washington is aware of the uniqueness of the current government in light of the entry of an Arab party into the coalition.

The meeting gave the impression that Prime Minister Bennett would be invited to a meeting at the White House very soon.

The source said that the Americans were very impressed by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi's recent visit to Washington.

He further noted that President Rivlin came with a fear that he would see in Washington the influence of the anti-Israel Democrats and was happy to see that Biden had not changed his pro-Israel views.

Sources close to Rivlin hope and believe that Biden still feels toward Israel as he did when he said of himself to Rivlin many years ago: "You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."