Biden Turns on Netanyahu Ahead of 2024

A few weeks ago, I predicted that after giving Israel a few weeks to end its war with Hamas, President Biden would turn on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2024 because of growing and outspoken opposition to the war by Mr. Biden’s anti-Israel progressive base.

I was wrong. President Biden began vilifying Netanyahu and his government this week.

This included President Biden making the very damning public statement that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.

The President also this week called for Netanyahu to “change his government” to expel hardline ministers who oppose a two-state solution peace agreement between Israel and Palestinians and criticized Netanyahu’s administration as the “most conservative government in Israel’s history.”

President Biden’s criticism comes at a pivotal time when Israel is facing growing global opposition to the war and a recent nonbinding UN General Assembly resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire that passed overwhelmingly.

Although President Biden has described his support for Israel after the horrific October 7 terrorist attack as “rock solid,” his support has been accompanied by public criticism and statements on how Israel should conduct the war. For example, the President conditioned his October 19 visit to Israel on an explicit commitment from Netanyahu to open Gaza for humanitarian aid. He has called on Israel to respect international and humanitarian law, implying that it has not done so. President Biden and his senior officials also have repeatedly stated that the Palestinian Authority must govern Gaza after the war concludes and that Israel cannot occupy Gaza.

Over the last few weeks, Biden Administration officials told the Israeli government they want the war wrapped up in weeks, not months, and want a process to place Gaza under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu has rejected calls for a cease-fire or an early end to the war, pledging on December 13, “We are continuing until the end, there is no question. I say this even given the great pain, and the international pressure. Nothing will stop us, we will continue until the end, until victory, nothing less.”

In a video statement on December 12, Netanyahu also rejected U.S. calls for the Palestinian Authority to run Gaza when he said, “After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism.” In addition, Netanyahu appeared to reject the idea of a two-state solution peace plan when he insisted that he “will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo.” This was a reference to the failed 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted the Palestine Liberation Authority limited autonomy over the West Bank and Gaza.

It is unheard of for an American president to publicly criticize or dictate to a close ally who is at war the way Joe Biden has done to Israel since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. This criticism initially appeared to reflect the Biden Administration’s dislike of Netanyahu and his conservative government as well as Netanyahu’s opposition to many of the Biden Administration’s Middle East policies, such as attempting to negotiate a new nuclear agreement with Iran and resuming U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority.

The Biden Administration’s criticism of the Israeli government intensified over the last few weeks in response to an outpouring of opposition to the war and anti-Israel sentiment by the American Left. Massive anti-Israel and anti-Semitic demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, and fierce criticism of President Biden—such as young demonstrators carrying “Genocide Joe” signs—caught Biden Administration officials off guard and left them scrambling to placate this important group of supporters.

Although there is still considerable bipartisan support for President Biden’s backing of Israel after the October 7 terrorist attack, Biden’s new sharp criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu shows how worried he is about strong and growing opposition to the war from progressives, younger voters, and American Muslims. Biden Administration officials realize how important these groups are to their future and are eager to appease them quickly.

It was therefore predictable that President Biden would eventually try to make Netanyahu a pariah over the war to deflect criticism from his administration and win back progressive supporters. This will include more extravagant and unrealistic demands over the next year to end the war and for a two-state solution that neither Israel nor the Palestinians are interested in.

This treatment of one of America’s closest allies at such a dire time in its history is shameful and unprincipled. It will lead to unnecessary tension between the United States and Israel at a time when there should be no daylight between the two countries on security issues. It also reflects the fecklessness of President Biden’s leadership as Commander-in-Chief and why Biden has severely undermined international security and America’s global reputation during his presidency.

Fred Fleitz is vice-chair of the America First Policy Institute Center for American Security. He previously served as National Security Council chief of staff, CIA analyst and a House Intelligence Committee staff member.


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Photo: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 18: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT - 'ISRAELI GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE (GPO) / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) US President Joe Biden is welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023. (Photo by GPO/ Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. I am at odds with all of this. It is incomprehensible that Israel intel missed the 10/7 warning signs. Many people are suggesting that Netanyahu is a globalist and this is part of a bigger strategy to take away rights of Israelis.

    Furthermore, Netanyahu turned his back on Trump and embraced the Biden presidency - why? I am not surprised about Biden and in fact, his actions indicated he was pro-Hamas all along, it was only his words that seemed to indicate pro-Israel. Did the author miss all that?

    Clearly, the US intel, Israeli Mossad and many others all missed the warning signs of this massacre - i think we need to ask more questions about that. Until then, as always I will pray for the Israeli people and wish them much success.

  2. Obama loathes Israel and Netanyahu, and its the queer Kenyan who is running the show. But I don’t worry for Israel, I worry for this country as the Bible clearly states what happens to those nations that oppose Israel.

  3. Well, Mr. Fleitz, as we have seen demonstrated on a daily basis for 20+ years, the Dems have neither shame nor principles. Oh, yeah, right, I forgot - only in pursuit of absolute power.

  4. I have a somewhat different take on this conflict. What passes for the right in the US have for years now decried the loss of free speech rights via NGO’s, social media and other online platforms because of bullying, and sometimes even official pressure from the powers the be. It would seem to me those same people who complained previously about 1A being degraded are now doing the same, over a conflict which we have no direct influence over in a foreign land. I hate the hypocrisy argument. What I hate more is losing free speech. The sudden increase of everything be labeled a hate crime isn’t exactly progress for the right either.

  5. Trump is a low class moron that enabled the October 7th attacks by failing to adequately evaluate the enemy during his presidency. Now America is under the boot of a Communist dictatorship, with Barack Obama - the incarnate alliance between 21st Century Marxism and Jihad made manifest - calling the shots. We all know that Donald Trump is the legitimate winner of the 2020 election, only Trump’s megalomania blinded him to being able to thwart the destruction of his presidency by America’s internal enemies.

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