President Joe Biden’s frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has grown, as Biden feels Netanyahu isn’t heeding his advice on Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, sources say. While Biden hasn’t publicly criticized Netanyahu, he’s privately expressed annoyance over Israel’s military actions, calling them “over the top.” Officials wonder when Biden will voice his concerns publicly.
Biden’s remarks last week mirrored his private sentiments, where he hoped Israel would scale back military operations in Gaza by January. The tension heightened as Israel considered a ground incursion into Rafah, where many displaced Palestinians sought refuge.
US officials voiced concern that a ground operation in Rafah would endanger over a million people. In a call, Biden urged Netanyahu to prioritize their safety before any operation proceeds.
Disagreements between Biden and Netanyahu have been longstanding, aggravated by recent events like Netanyahu’s rejection of a Hamas counterproposal and his public dismissal of a two-state solution.
Despite differences, Biden has supported Israel, visiting the country during wartime and affirming US solidarity. Netanyahu reciprocated by praising Biden’s clarity and focus in handling issues, even amidst questions about Biden’s age and mental acuity.
Their relationship, spanning over four decades, has weathered challenges, with Netanyahu acknowledging occasional disagreements but emphasizing mutual understanding.
As the conflict persists, Biden faces pressure from progressive Democrats to address Palestinian suffering. Yet, Biden prefers resolving differences privately, maintaining support for Israel while privately expressing frustration with Netanyahu’s actions.
Biden’s handling of the situation underscores the delicate balance between supporting Israel and addressing Palestinian concerns. Whether Biden will publicly challenge Netanyahu remains uncertain as tensions persist over Gaza and broader Middle East policy.