Biden hints Netanyahu is dragging out Gaza war for political survival

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden.
Published June 4, 2024
WashingtonCNN — President Joe Biden suggested in an interview published Tuesday that his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, may be dragging out the war in Gaza in an attempt to cling to power and said it was “uncertain” whether Israel had committed war crimes.

“There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion,” he said when questioned whether he believed Netanyahu sought to prolong the conflict for political purposes, giving voice to a widespread belief in Washington and other capitals that the Israeli leader is using the war as a buffer against blowback.

“Before the war began, the blowback he was getting from the Israeli military for wanting to change the constitu – change the court. And so it’s an internal domestic debate that seems to have no consequence,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul that had drawn angry protests before the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas that sparked the current conflict.

“Whether he would change his position or not, it’s hard to say, but it has not been helpful,” Biden said.

The president made the comments last week as he was preparing to deliver a speech laying out what he said was an Israeli proposal to end the war and secure the release of hostages.

The speech was intended to apply pressure on Hamas and Israel to end the war, but the effect of his remarks was to put Netanyahu on the spot as the war in Gaza grinds ahead. So far, Netanyahu has yet to publicly endorse the plan, despite it being an Israeli proposal, and members of his far-right government have threatened to quit should the plan be adopted.

The president’s decision to spell out in detail Israel’s plan underscored his growing impatience at the logjam in talks to secure the release of hostages.

“Bibi is under enormous pressure on the hostages … and so he’s prepared to do about anything to get the hostages back,” Biden said, using Netanyahu’s nickname.



RELATED: US seeks UN backing for Gaza ceasefire deal, pressuring Israel and Hamas to accept proposal

Published June 4, 2024

The US said on Monday it wants the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution backing the proposal outlined by President Joe Biden to end the war on the Gaza Strip.

It circulated a one-page draft text, seen by Reuters, to the 15-member council. A resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes by the US, France, Britain, China or Russia to pass.

The draft calls on Hamas to accept the deal and “fully and implement its terms without delay and without condition.” It also “stresses the importance of the parties adhering to the terms of the deal once agreed, with the aim of bringing about a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

The Palestinian group had already responded positively to the deal, which was in line with previous proposals it had put forward to mediators.

In Israel, however, several members of the war cabinet had voiced staunch opposition to ending the war on Gaza.

Israel’s eight-month offensive on the Gaza Strip has killed over 36,000 people, most of them women and children, and thousands more are believed to be buried beneath the rubble. The war has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes.




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Why do CO2 lag behind temperature?

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