On Friday, the Trump administration announced that a deal had been reached to normalize relations between Sudan and Israel, which is the third recently announced deal to involve the normalization of relations between Israel and an Arab country. Israel has not been engaged in active conflict with the nations — including Sudan, the U.A.E., and Bahrain — that have been involved in these deals, which have not directly tackled open conflicts in the region like the Israel-Palestine stand-off. During a Friday phone call from the White House between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a nevertheless quite self-congratulatory Trump asked Netanyahu if he thought that “Sleepy Joe” could have struck a deal like the Israel-Sudan agreement — but Netanyahu refused to go along with the anti-Biden vitriol.
Netanyahu is a right-winger who is allied with Trump, but even still, he refused to take the bait and join in the criticism of Biden. In response to the president’s question of what he thought about the prospects of “Sleepy Joe” striking a Middle East peace deal, Netanyahu said (while on speakerphone) that he appreciated assistance from “anyone in America” who offers it.
‘They’re also poor. Iran is poor. Hamas is poor. They’re all poor, and they weren’t poor three years ago. They were blowing everything up — they’re very poor. You think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe — you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don’t think so.’
Although Trump got seemingly so wrapped up in himself that he began to answer his own question, Netanyahu answered:
‘Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate help for peace from anyone in America, and we appreciate what you’ve done enormously.’
Trump did not exactly look enthused by Netanyahu’s response. The president promptly interjected and tried to move on. Check out the footage of the moment below:
Trump tried to goad Netanyahu into echoing his crude attacks on Joe Biden — but Bibi wouldn't do it. He's probably looking at the same polls we are. pic.twitter.com/m66xWoekWb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 23, 2020
There’s a very real possibility that Trump could soon be replaced in office by Biden, whose standing in polls has repeatedly been better than that of Hillary Clinton at equivalent points in the 2016 election cycle. Despite Trump’s self-congratulations for a supposed job well done, there’s been little abatement of active conflict while he has been in office. For example, despite a pair of widely publicized meetings between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea still has its nuclear arsenal.