Benjamin Netanyahu prepared for Joe Biden prevailing

Looking back, Netanyahu’s first step in preparing for a Biden victory was the surprising headline he gave The Jerusalem Post in an interview in February.

US Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem March 9, 2016 (photo credit: REUTERS/DEBBIE HILL/POOL)
US Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem March 9, 2016
(photo credit: REUTERS/DEBBIE HILL/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has understood American politics since his teen years living in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
True, he clashed with Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Republican politicians in the US have said they see Netanyahu as a mentor. But Likud officials said the prime minister would get along well with Democratic candidate Joe Biden if he won Tuesday’s election.
Sources close to Netanyahu revealed that he prepared for the possibility of a victory by Biden. Netanyahu has close ties with American pollsters, and he knew that his close ally, US President Donald Trump, had to fight an uphill battle.
Looking back, Netanyahu’s first step in preparing for a Biden victory was the surprising headline he gave The Jerusalem Post in an interview in February.
The headline was “Netanyahu to ‘Post’: Democratic president can’t stop Trump plan.” In retrospect, it could be very important.
Netanyahu was talking specifically about annexation plans that did not end up getting implemented, but also more generally about Trump’s approach to the Middle East.
“Once the Trump plan is put forward, the goalposts will have been moved, and it will be very difficult for any administration to move them back,” Netanyahu said.
Asked if it was important to apply sovereignty over territories before the American election, he said it would not be a factor.
“Any administration, Democrat or Republican, will have to work by the new realities,” he said. “They will have to take the new situation into account. You can’t work based on falsehoods. Any attempt to advance a US plan that is based on falsehoods will crash due to the realities. That is what happened again and again and again. I’m sure the next administration, whatever it will be, will have to consider the fact that there’s a new plan.”
Netanyahu did not express concern about any of the Democratic candidates, saying, “I’ll work fine with Democrats or Republicans.”
Further proof that Netanyahu prepared for a potential Biden victory came two weeks ago, when Trump asked him while cameras were rolling about his deal with Sudan: “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi, Sleepy Joe?”
Netanyahu could have helped Trump’s campaign the way Trump has helped  Netanyahu’s campaigns in the past, but the prime minister surprised many by answering carefully.
“Uh... well... Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America,” he said.
Sources close to Netanyahu said he knows he would have to proceed with caution to ensure he gets off to a good start with a Democratic administration for the first time. That could mean learning lessons from what happened with Clinton and Obama. The fact that Israel currently is in the process of peacemaking, and not annexing could help.
Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, not far from Philadelphia, so they will always have their Pennsylvania days to talk about. Little could Netanyahu have known back then, but his Pennsylvania years could end up helping Israel in the future.