Public Rifts Emerge as Biden and Netanyahu Clash on Key Issues


Things are getting worse between the US and Israel. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that Israel was losing backing from other countries in its fight against Hamas, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against US plans for Gaza after the war.

The differences, which had mostly been kept quiet until now, showed how the two strong partners are becoming more and more divided as the number of civilian deaths in Gaza rises.

Biden criticized Israel’s strict government and told Democratic donors in Washington that Netanyahu needed to change how he runs things.

Biden called Netanyahu’s government the “most conservative government in Israel’s history” and said, “I think he has to change. And with this government, this government in Israel is making it very hard for him to move.”

He said that, because of the heavy bombing of Gaza, support for the country’s military campaign is falling. He also said that the Israeli government “doesn’t want a two-state solution.”

He said that Israel “has most of the world behind it” right now, but that “they’re starting to lose that support by the bombing that goes on.”

Before Biden spoke at the dinner, Netanyahu said on Tuesday that he and the president of the US disagree on what should happen to Gaza after the war. They said in a statement, “Yes, there is disagreement about ‘the day after Hamas,’ and I hope that we will also be able to come to an agreement on this.”

The two statements were some of the most honest to date about the problems that Israel still has with the US, which is its closest friend in the world.

Before the war started because of the terror acts by Hamas on October 7, Biden was very critical of Netanyahu’s government, which is made up of far-right parties. Even though there is more and more criticism of the Israeli campaign, he has mostly stood with Netanyahu in public since the war started.

Since October 7, Netanyahu has been asked many times by international reporters what he thinks Gaza will be like after the war. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash last month, he said that he did see a place for “some kind of civilian Palestinian authority,” even if it had to be “reconstructed.”

There was a statement from Netanyahu on Tuesday before Biden spoke at the Democratic fundraiser. He said, “I would like to clarify my position: I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo.”

According to what Biden said on Tuesday—namely, that the current Israeli government “does not want a two-state solution”—he and his Israeli colleague have very different views.

This idea of a Palestinian state living alongside Israel’s state grew in popularity in the 1990s when the Oslo Accords were signed. These agreements made the Palestinian Authority (PA), which had some control over the West Bank and Gaza.

Hamas basically drove the PA out of Gaza in 2007, but the Biden administration has made it clear that it thinks the PA should take over running the area again when the war is over.

Netanyahu said, “After the great sacrifice of our civilians and soldiers, I will not let into Gaza those who teach people how to be terrorists, support terrorists, and fund terrorists.”

“Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan,” Netanyahu’s statement ended. This was a reference to both Hamas and Fatah, the biggest Palestinian group that helped sign the Oslo Accords and still runs the Palestinian Authority 30 years later.

The strikes by Hamas that killed more than 1,200 people were soon followed by Israel’s attack on Gaza. Biden has said that Israel should and should be able to protect itself.

But in phone calls, Biden has told Netanyahu that he needs to do more to protect civilians in Gaza, and top administration officials have said that there is a “gap” between what Israel wants to do and what is happening there.

Biden said at a Hanukkah party at the White House on Monday night that Israel was in “a tough spot” after the Hamas attack on October 7 and the war that followed in Gaza. And he made a reference to his disagreements with Netanyahu while the fighting was going on.

Biden said, “We’ll keep giving Israel military aid until they get rid of Hamas, but we have to be careful and they have to be careful.” “The views of people all over the world can change in an instant. We can’t let that happen.”

They’ve been together for decades, and their relationship has been tense at times. When he gave Netanyahu a picture one time, Biden said, “I love you but I don’t agree with a damn thing you had to say.”

This morning, Biden said, “It’s about the same.” He also said, “I’ve had my differences with some Israeli leadership.”

In the past few weeks, officials from the Biden administration have been putting pressure on their Israeli counterparts to start making plans for what will happen in Gaza after the military operation is over. They have also been insisting that the door should remain open for a future Palestinian state.

The US has said it will not agree to any plan that includes Israeli rule over Gaza and has warned against reducing the size of the Palestinian territory.

US sources told CNN that the US is also putting pressure on Israel to open the Kerem Shalom border crossing so that emergency aid trucks can go straight into Gaza.

For the first time since Hamas’s attack on October 7, the Israeli government let aid trucks go through Kerem Shalom for inspection on Tuesday. However, the trucks still have to go back through Egypt before they can enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing. The move does double Israel’s ability to check aid trucks, but it doesn’t fix the problem that is causing delays at the Rafah gate.

People in the US say Biden brought up the problem directly with Netanyahu on their last call last week. Officials say that before Jake Sullivan’s trip to Israel on Thursday for talks, he asked his Israeli counterparts to open up the border crossing between Israel and Gaza.

In a phone interview with CNN on Tuesday, Sullivan said, “Rafah cannot take in enough aid to meet the needs of the Palestinian people, which are only growing as more people have been forced to leave their homes.”

We need the emergency support that Kerem Shalom gives us to get more food, water, medicine, and other necessities to Palestinian civilians, and we’re communicating this very clearly to the Israeli government to say, ‘We need you to do this right away because of the humanitarian situation on the ground,'” he said.

A spokesperson for the office of the Israeli prime minister wouldn’t say anything about the US move. Israel has been against the idea so far. Since Hamas’s surprise terrorist attack on October 7, Israel has cut off all trade and humanitarian help to Gaza and has promised to cut all ties with the Gaza Strip.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.