Biden Finally Meets with Israeli PM

( – After months of delay, President Joe Biden finally met with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, although Netanyahu has expressed feeling slighted by the US commander-in-chief.

The two world leaders let on Wednesday, nine months after their last meeting, a delay that left Netanyahu feeling snubbed by Biden. Instead of the White House, the two met in New York City, which could be interpreted as another snub at the Israeli leader.

Despite Biden’s criticism of the efforts of the Israeli leader to overhaul the Middle Eastern country’s judicial system, the prime minister cracked jokes with the president during their meeting. Biden also extended an invite to Netanyahu to visit the White House before year’s end, perhaps trying to make up for the nine-month lapse since their last meeting.

The president met with the Middle Eastern leader to secure a deal that would improve and normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. According to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, the negotiations are getting “closer” to a deal. He said “the Palestinian issue is very important” for Saudi Arabia and “that part” needs to be solved first. The prince said a deal must be worked out that will also “ease the life of the Palestinians” while making Israel more of “a player in the Middle East.”

Biden joked with Netanyahu that he suffers from “Irish optimism.” The US president also said if he and the prime minister were told “10 years ago” that “normalization with Saudi Arabia” was being discussed, he thinks they would “look at each other” and ask, “Who’s been drinking what?” Netanyahu replied by saying “good Irish whiskey.”

The negotiations were discussed on Wednesday in private. Many officials are optimistic of about the deal, but some doubts remain because it’s a complicated arrangement.

The deal would continue the trend of peace deals between the Jewish state and surrounding Arab countries carried out under former President Donald Trump through the Abraham Accords.

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