Biden meets with Netanyahu after months of snubbing Israeli PM

President Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time in months on Wednesday following a long delay seen as a snub to the Israeli leader. Biden had neglected to meet with Netanyahu for nine months prior to Wednesday. The location of the meeting, New York City instead of the White House, was seen as another veiled jab. Biden has been critical of Netanyahu’s efforts to overhaul Israel’s judicial system. Nevertheless, Netanyahu cracked jokes with Biden and left Wednesday’s meeting with an invitation to come to the White House before the end of the year. “I suffer from an oxymoron, Irish optimism. If you and I 10 years ago were talking about normalization with Saudi Arabia, I think we’d look at each other like, ‘Who’s been drinking what?” Biden joked to his Israeli counterpart. “Good Irish whiskey,” Netanyahu replied. NETANYAHU OFFERS TO NEGOTIATE JUDICIAL REFORMS THROUGH NOVEMBER, ISSUES ‘CALL FOR PEACE AND MUTUAL RESPECT’ Biden came to the table with Netanyahu to help secure a deal to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Fox News that a deal is getting “closer.” “For us, the Palestinian issue is very important. We need to solve that part,” bin Salman told Fox News host Bret Baier. “We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place, that it will ease the life of the Palestinians, get Israel as a player in the Middle East.” BIDEN DROVE ‘HISTORICALLY’ CLOSE MIDDLE EAST ALLIES INTO THE ARMS OF AMERICA’S GREATEST ENEMIES, EXPERTS SAY Biden and Netanyahu discussed negotiations with the Saudis in a private session on Wednesday. While U.S. officials have expressed optimism over the deal, they have also cautioned that work remains to be done. ISRAEL: TERROR GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR MOTORCYCLIST GUNMAN WHO KILLED 5 PEOPLE “Normalization is a very complicated issue. We have been making some progress, but there’s some ways to travel on this before we get there,” a senior U.S. official told reporters. A normalization deal between Israel and the Saudis would cap a string of peace deals with Israel and neighboring Arab countries through the Abraham Accords under former President Trump.
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