US President Joe Biden said during an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 News that America is committed to Israel, regardless of whoever becomes prime minister.
“Israel is a democracy. We're committed to the state, not an individual leader, just like Israel and our allies are not committed to an individual president. They're committed to the state of the United States,” Biden said.
When asked about the at tense relations between Obama and Netanyahu, and how the current US-Israeli relationship would change if Netanyahu were to become prime minister again, Biden said: “Bibi and I have known each other for close to 40 years. And we know where we agree and where we disagree. We make 'no bones about it'. But I'm dealing with a democratic state that is going through a decision as to who they're going to have as their leader. Whoever the leader is, I'll work with him.”
Biden also commented on Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s call with Mahmoud Abbas, the first such call by an Israeli leader in five years. With Biden meeting Abbas, he was asked about whether he expects any progress to occur.
“You may recall that I think personal diplomacy matters. The war that took place not too long ago lasted days, not months, because I got deeply involved in talking with all the leadership, whether it was in Israel or whether it was with Abbas or whether it was the Egyptians,” Biden said. “I think that it always matters to talk, to see if you can reach any consensus, even on small things, to lessen the prospects of continued conflict.”
Responding to a question about Israelis' obsession with American politics, Biden would not say if he was expecting a “Biden-Trump rematch in 2024.”
“I’m not predicting, but I would not be disappointed,” he said.
“The one thing I know about politics, and American politics in particular, is there's no way to predict what's going to happen,” Biden added. “I’m not even halfway through my term yet. And so there's a lot of room to figure out what's going to happen. But my hope is that the Republican Party moves back to a more normal position. It's not this MAGA-party that it's become in many ways.”
Biden said that he ran for president in 2020 for three reasons.
“I had no intention of running for real until I saw those people coming out of the fields down in Virginia and Charlottesville carrying torches and Nazi flags and singing the same antisemitic bile that was sung in the thirties in Germany. And my family and me, we sat and had a family meeting, they thought I should run and I took a shot,” he said.
“I said, I'm running for three reasons... Number one, to restore the soul of America, to get back to who we are as a people, and the way we talk to one another, the way we treat one another. The second thing was to rebuild the backbone of this country, the middle class. When the middle class does well, everybody does well. The poor move their way up and the wealthy stay wealthy. And thirdly, to unite the country. I still haven't accomplished the third piece, and that's what I'm trying to do.”