Live updates: Biden talks with Israel highlight split over Iran

Credit…J. Scott Applewhite

President Biden concluded his meeting with the leader of the Israeli opposition, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

mr. Netanyahu, who has had a friendly if rocky relationship with Mr Biden since the 1980s, described it in a statement as a “warm and wonderful welcome.” But, like acting Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, he offered the American president a solid bail.

Echoing d. Lapid’s comments earlier in the day on Iran’s nuclear program. Netanyahu said he told Mr. Biden that the United States needed to threaten Iran with more than just economic sanctions or a defensive military partnership between Middle Eastern states.

“We need one,” he said. “A credible offensive military option is needed.”

Biden and Netanyahu’s relationship spans four decades.

The two men first had regular contact when Mr. Biden was a senator and M. Netanyahu was Israel’s deputy ambassador to Washington. mr. Biden often spoke fondly of Mr. Since then, Netanyahu, despite their political differences, once described a photograph given to him with a warm caption: “Bibi, I don’t fucking agree with what you say, but I love you.”

After Mr. Netanyahu returned to Israel, becoming prime minister in 1996, and three years later he lost this post. According to him, Biden was the only American politician who wrote him a letter after his defeat in the elections. In moments of heightened friction between Mr. Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. Biden has often been used to defuse tensions.

The relationship between Mr. Biden and Mr. Netanyahu, however, had its shortcomings. Politically, the two men have different views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. mr. Biden supports the creation of a Palestinian state as a solution to the conflict, while Mr. Netanyahu has become increasingly open about his opposition to full Palestinian sovereignty.

In 2010, Netanyahu’s government put him in an awkward position. Biden during a visit to Israel. construction announcement new settlements in East Jerusalem, preventing the Obama administration from resuming peace talks.

In 2015 Biden refused to attend the address that Mr. Netanyahu spoke to Congress after the Israeli leader accepted an invitation from Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner without notifying the White House. The speech and Mr. Biden’s no-show escalated the dispute between Mr. Netanyahu and the Obama administration over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.

After Mr. Biden was elected president in 2020. It took Netanyahu several hours to congratulate him, perhaps fearing, analysts say, angering President Donald Trump, with whom he has developed strong ties.

Upon taking office, Mr. Biden responded to a snub, and it took him several weeks to call Mr. Trump. Netanyahu. But they spoke several times during last year’s war in Gaza, before Mr. Netanyahu himself left the government a month later.

mr. Biden’s meeting with Netanyahu on Thursday is more than just a courtesy: Israel will endure early elections in November – the fifth in less than four years – and it is possible that Mr. Netanyahu, who leads the polls, may soon return to power.

After Mr. Biden arrived in the country on Wednesday, he and Mr. Netanyahu greeted each other with a particularly long and hard shake, despite their past differences.

Their meeting comes as Mr. Netanyahu is in the midst of two court cases. In one he allegations of corruption. On the other hand, he and his family sued his predecessor Ehud Olmertaccusing him of slander after he called Netanyahu “mentally ill”.