Biden Appears to Win 2020 Election; Reaction from Israel, Arab States Mixed; Biden Likely to Try to Re-Enter 2015 Nuclear Deal

It appears that Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the U.S. election for president, denying President Donald Trump a second term, according to projections by AP, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The New York Times and ABC News. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

But what does Biden’s win mean for Israel? According to The Times of Israel, Biden has a longstanding history as a supporter Israel. He has known every prime minister since Golda Meir. Michael Oran, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. during the Obama years, says Biden “has a deep feeling for Israel.” Although Oran opposed almost all the Obama-era policies towards Israel, he said Biden is genuinely concerned about Israel. “He has Israel in his heart. He actually gets it. He gets Israel.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris likewise appears to be pro-Israel. Her voting record during her three years as a senator put her in the pro-Israel camp of the Democratic party. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Daniel Kurtzer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, predicts that U.S. President Elect Joe Biden will seek to bring the United States back into the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. His remarks came after Iranian president Hassan Rouhani urged Biden to do so. Kurtzer, however, believe Washington will talk to Israel first before seeking any kind of agreement with Iran. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Nonetheless, Likud officials are concerned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump will damage the prime minister’s standing with a Biden-led administration. They also worry that it could lead to less support for Israel in the U.N. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Believing Biden will want to re-enter the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz wants “dialogue with the new administration” to ensure that it does not re-enter under the same terms as in 2015. He believes the goal should be to dismantle the program, not freeze it in place. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin invited U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to visit Jerusalem. Rivlin called Biden a longtime friend of Israel. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Yet, even as world leaders congratulated Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was, initially, mum. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… It was Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz who broke the silence by congratulating Biden on the win. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Yamina party leader Naftali Bennet also congratulated Biden. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Later, Netanyahu tweeted a congratulation to Biden, saying, “we’ve had a long & warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel.” Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas also praised Biden’s win, saying that the Palestinians were ready to resume peace talks, but only from where they left off prior to Trump’s presidency. PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the PA was ready for “immediate engagement” … but only if certain preconditions were met. One of those conditions may be the return of the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… Meanwhile Palestinians celebrated Trump’s defeat. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the U.S. election a “spectacle,” saying it was an “example of the ugly face of liberal democracy in the U.S.” He also said the “political, civil & moral decline” of the U.S. was “clear.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Iran’s First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said that he hoped Biden’s election would bring an end to “America’s destructive policies”—a reference to Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposition of sanctions on Iran. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Turkey says that Biden’s election will not change relations between the U.S. and Turkey, though the latter will keep pressing on Syria and other policy differences between the two nations. Reported by Haaretz. Read more… Across the Arab world, however, with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders also congratulated Biden and Harris. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Prior to the election, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised President Trump’s “America First” policy, saying it had achieved historic outcomes for the American people. Pompeo said that while the Obama administration tried to appease Iran, the Trump administration enacted the strongest sanctions ever. He also praised Trump’s efforts in Afghanistan, the peace deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, and the destruction of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Reported by Fox News. Read more… In fact, before the election, the Trump administration appears to have scored another deal in the region, brokering a cease fire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Before the election, President Trump’s chief advisor, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, said the recent peace deals made by Trump “are much harder than President Trump is making them look.” Kushner noted that “some people [would] be in Washington for 30, 40 years” and “are never able to work on a single foreign transaction.” He noted the significance of the Israel-Sudan peace deal, and the fact that after the 1967 Six-Day-War the Arab league met in Sudan and issued its famous “3-No’s” decree—“No peace, no recognition, no negotiations” with Israel. And yet, Kushner said, more than 50-years later, that is starting to change to ‘3-Yes’s.’ Reported by Fox News. Read more… Also before the election, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said more peace deals were to come. In a Fox News interview, Meadows said, “Well, we will see more countries coming in. The president has been not only a leader but he’s been very proactive on trying to make sure that peace in the Middle East is really not just a dream but a reality.” He hinted that four or five countries may make deals with Israel. Reported by Fox News. Read more…