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After a delay, Biden talks with Netanyahu and poses concerns

President Joe Biden spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Wednesday, ending what had been a long stretch since Biden took office without a call.

The time of contact raised concerns about what was behind the wait, while the White House maintained that the two men had a close friendship and that before approaching the Middle East, Biden was simply contacting leaders of other areas.

"It was a good conversation," Biden told reporters in the Oval Office, without elaborating, soon after the call concluded.

The call came four weeks after the election of Biden, a period of time that both Netanyahu's allies and critics felt could be an indication that the Israeli Prime Minister no longer occupied the privileged role of President Donald Trump in the White House he coveted.

Questioned about why Biden had waited so long to call Netanyahu after speaking with roughly a dozen other world leaders, the White House said last week that there wasn't anything to be read into the delay.

Nevertheless, the decision to forgo an appeal to the Israeli Prime Minister for almost his first month in office was not a coincidence. One source familiar with the thoughts of the White House said that in making Netanyahu wait for a call, there was a feeling of payback.

The cool management of President Barack Obama by the Israeli leader and his near association with Trump and the Republican Party, as well as the amount of time it took him to congratulate Biden on his win, did not go unnoticed, the source added.

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