Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appears to have shunned or side-stepped President Joe Biden this past weekend by not calling him to offer support and condolences after the condominium building collapse in the predominantly Jewish city of Surfside, Florida.
Prime Minister Bennett instead made the head of state call to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday shortly before deploying the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) elite Home Front Command search & rescue unit to South Florida
After a family member of one of the unaccounted for residents of the Champlain Tower called for Israel to send search and rescue help, Prime Minister Bennett answered the call and phoned Gov. DeSantis to offer his support. An appreciative DeSantis welcomed the help and thanked Bennett after the prime minister told him he would be sending the IDF unit.
The prime minister’s official Twitter account detailed the phone call between Prime Minister Bennett and Gov. DeSantis took place and the assistance they would be sending per a prior request that was made.
"Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke this evening with Florida @GovRonDeSantis in wake of the disaster in which a building collapsed in the town of Surfside…Prime Minister Bennett conveyed condolences over the disaster to Governor DeSantis on behalf of the Israeli public and said that Israel will assist the American authorities as per request," stated the PM's official Twitter account." The PM said the US is Israel's greatest friend and that Israel stands by the US at this difficult time; added that everyone is praying for the wellbeing of the wounded and noted he has instructed all Israeli government agencies to render whatever assistance that may be requested."
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke this evening with Florida @GovRonDeSantis in wake of the disaster in which a building collapsed in the town of Surfside.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 26, 2021
The PM said the US is Israel's greatest friend and that Israel stands by the US at this difficult time; added that everyone is praying for the wellbeing of the wounded and noted he has instructed all Israeli government agencies to render whatever assistance that may be requested.
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) June 26, 2021
President Biden did put out a statement of condolence that mentioned he had spoken to DeSantis last Friday, but according to the White House’s only official statement in regards to the building collapse, President Biden stated that he had spoken to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell Sunday afternoon about the situation on the ground in Surfside and thanked “search and rescue teams” but failed to directly acknowledge Israel’s contribution to the rescue effort, let alone mentioning that he had spoken to any Israeli official, including Prime Minister Bennett.
My heart is with the community of Surfside as they grieve their lost loved ones and wait anxiously as search and rescue efforts continue.
Yesterday I spoke with Gov. DeSantis to let him know that we are ready to provide assistance as needed by state and local officials.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 26, 2021
“I am grateful for the heroic first responders, search and rescue teams, and all FEMA, state, county, local, and volunteer personnel who are working around the clock to try to save lives and for those who are dedicated to helping survivors with many needs, including temporary housing. We will continue to coordinate closely with officials on the ground throughout this terrible ordeal and my administration is ready to provide any support or assistance that is needed.”- President Joe Biden.
Neither of two Twitter handles affiliated to President Biden or the official White House handle, or Press Secretary Jenn Psaki two handles, mentions the president having a conversation with the Israeli prime minister.
According to Israel’s official state Twitter handle, Consul General Maor Elba Starinsky offered support to DeSantis hours after the structure fell, saying that “the people of Israel stand together with the people of Florida.”
The Floridian has reached out to the White House for comment but has yet to hear back from anyone.
DeSantis has been on site every day since the collapse. Biden has yet to visit.