Biden restoring bipartisan support for Israel, Bennett tells Nides

'I want to thank President Biden and the administration ... for the approach of bringing Israel yet again to be a bipartisan issue, and not partisan,' Bennett told US Ambassador Tom Nides Thursday.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lights the menorah with new US Ambassador Tom Nides on the last night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2021. (photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett lights the menorah with new US Ambassador Tom Nides on the last night of Hanukkah, December 5, 2021.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN GERSHOM/GPO)

US President Joe Biden has worked to restore bipartisan support for Israel, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told US Ambassador Thomas Nides when the two of them held their first official meeting on Thursday night.

"I want to thank President Biden and the administration for the warm friendship, for the candidness, for the approach of bringing Israel yet again to be a bipartisan issue, and not partisan," Bennett said when the two men in the Prime Minister's Bureau in Jerusalem.

Nides, who arrived in Israel for the first time last week, had earlier in the day presented his credentials to Israel's President Isaac Herzog.

In Bennett's office, the two men marked the eighth and final night of the Hanukkah holiday by lighting the menorah together and reciting the blessings.

"Hanukkah is a symbol of light, and how light can prevail upon darkness. And right over here, about 2,100 years ago, the Maccabees were fighting a much bigger enemy, but we prevailed. We prevailed because we fought for good, we fought for freedom," Bennett told him.

 US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides on December 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

"Now it's with much pride that I stand here as the prime minister of Israel, with our biggest friend in the world, the United States of America," Bennett said.

The two countries, Bennett said, share "the most fundamental values—values of freedom."

Bennett added, "The Jewish people who were a symbol of freedom in America, who brought democracy and freedom to the world—values of good faith, of cooperation."

This "good spirit," he said, marks his government, which has been in office for half a year, and also marks the ties between Israel and the US.