In the first call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly-elected Vice President of the United States- Kamala Harris, the two top leaders supposedly spoke about the pandemic, the Iranian nuclear program, and the International Criminal Court’s decision to open an investigation into Israel over alleged war crimes.
The first-ever call between the two occurred under the backdrop of the US condemning the ICC for a biased plan of action against Israel, standing in solidarity with the Jewish state. The US State Department has condemned the ICC’s decision and argued the court lacks the jurisdiction to launch a probe. Updating the public about the telephonic meeting, Netanyahu’s office said Harris “expressed the total opposition of the American administration to the decision by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who will be replaced by British prosecutor Karim Khan on June 16, said in December 2019 that war crimes had been or were being committed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She named both the Israel Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas as possible perpetrators.
“The prime minister said we would continue to strengthen our intelligence and security cooperation and said during their conversation that as prime minister of Israel, he is totally committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons that are meant for our destruction,” his office said.
Meanwhile, Harris’s office said the two agreed to continue cooperating on the Iran nuclear issue “and the regime’s dangerous regional behavior.” Furthermore, Harris’s readout made no mention of the kind words regarding the vaccine program, but did say that the vice president underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to the US-Israel partnership [along with] the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”
As per the Israeli PMO, Harris also congratulated Netanyahu on Israel’s successful vaccine program, and the two agreed to boost cooperation between the US and Israel on the coronavirus, water, green energy, and other initiatives. This being said, Harris’ readout referenced a probable two-state notion saying, “The Vice President emphasized the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. She expressed strong support for Israel’s recent groundbreaking normalization agreements with countries in the Arab and Muslim world, and stressed the importance of advancing peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”