Strong Words for the Israeli PM

In a recent address to his re-election campaign supporters, U.S. President Joe Biden voiced strong criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, marking a noticeable shift in their relationship. Biden’s critique focused on what he termed “indiscriminate” bombings in Gaza, a tactic that, in his view, is causing Israel to lose international backing.

During the gathering, Biden contrasted the current situation with the U.S.’s historical military actions, emphasizing the establishment of post-World War II institutions to prevent such conflicts. He advised against repeating mistakes similar to those made by the U.S. following 9/11 and the ensuing military engagement in Afghanistan.

Biden Tells Potential Donors That Israel is Losing Support

The event, held at a hotel in Washington, was attended by about a hundred guests, including prominent Jewish community members. A key figure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee introduced Biden.
Concurrently, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was preparing for discussions with Israeli officials. Netanyahu, in a statement, acknowledged receiving U.S. support for Israel’s ground operations in Gaza but noted differences regarding post-conflict strategies.

At the fundraiser, Biden highlighted the challenge posed by Israel’s current government, led by Netanyahu and including far-right figures like Itamar Ben-Gvir. He stressed the need for Netanyahu to adopt a different approach, particularly regarding the creation of a Palestinian state, a concept opposed by Israeli hardliners.

Netanyahu Admits Past Mistakes, but Stands Firm

On his part, Netanyahu expressed his commitment to avoiding past mistakes, referencing the Oslo Accords of the 1990s. He emphasized his stance against allowing entities into Gaza that he accuses of endorsing terrorism, a claim disputed by the Palestinian Authority.

Biden, while supportive of Israel’s military actions against Hamas in Gaza, expressed concern over the civilian casualties. He is scheduled to meet with families of American hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 attack.
Sullivan, who will visit Israel, plans to discuss the conflict’s timeline with Israeli officials. He attributed the failure of a recent truce to Hamas’s refusal to release more hostages.