Gallant and Netanyahu trade barbs over US-Israel ties, arms delivery

(L-R) US President Joe Biden, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
Published June 27, 2024

White House says it’s capable of working with Netanyahu government despite recent challenges.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant exchanged barbs with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Israeli-US relationship as the military leader visited Washington in an attempt to strengthen those ties and bolster American support for the country’s multifront war.

Both men have now claimed to have solved the crisis surrounding the slow walking of arms for the IDF that Israel had purchased from the United States and which Congress had authorized.

“We made significant progress. Obstacles were removed and bottlenecks were addressed in order to advance a variety of issues,” Gallant said, adding that these included “the topics of a force build-up and munition supplies that we must bring to the State of Israel.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Gallant issued a video message, stating, “I am standing here in Washington as Israel’s Minister of Defense to say the following: In every family – and we consider the American people our family – disagreements may arise.”

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SOURCE: www.jerusalempost.com

RELATED: Netanyahu said set to offer new stance on Palestinian state in speech to Congress

PM’s aides reportedly tell White House the address will enable Saudi-Israel normalization to advance; his office stresses that his opposition to Palestinian state hasn’t changed

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is greeted by members of Congress prior to addressing a joint session on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, March 3, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershom/ GPO)
Published June 26, 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will present a new position on Palestinian statehood during his speech in Washington in July that will allow normalization with Saudi Arabia to progress, according to a Tuesday evening report.

Senior aides to the Israeli leader have told the White House that Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress will contain elements that back United States President Joe Biden’s grand vision for the Middle East, Channel 13 news reported.

That plan includes a ceasefire-for-hostages deal to end the fighting in Gaza, a diplomatic solution for the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in Lebanon, a pathway toward a Palestinian state, and diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem.

Biden’s Middle East vision takes on additional urgency as presidential elections loom in November. According to a Tuesday New York Times poll, Republican challenger Donald Trump leads Biden in seven key swing states, and would triumph by 312 electoral votes to Biden’s 226 according to the current polling.

Engineering a Saudi-Israel normalization deal would be a diplomatic masterstroke, one that could blunt criticism of Biden’s policies in Gaza and in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister’s Office pushed back on the report in comments to The Times of Israel, saying that Netanyahu “opposes a Palestinian state and will not change his position in his address to Congress.”

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SOURCE: www.timesofisrael.com

RELATED: U.S. and Israel to reconvene Iran meeting cancelled after Netanyahu accusations

Published June 25, 2024

Israel and the U.S. agreed to reconvene a joint meeting on Iran in July that was cancelled by the White House last week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Biden administration of withholding weapons from Israel, five Israeli and U.S. officials said.

Why it matters: There’s growing concern in Israel about developments in the Iranian nuclear program that Israeli leaders believe could be related to possible weaponization efforts, Israeli officials said.

  • Iran has repeatedly denied wanting to develop nuclear weapons.

Driving the news: The U.S.-Israel strategic consultative group (SCG), which was formed in 2009 during the Obama administration, is a key forum for U.S.-Israeli discussions about Iran’s nuclear program.

  • The working group is headed by the national security advisers from Israel and the U.S., and includes representatives from national security, foreign policy and intelligence agencies in both countries.
  • The forum hasn’t convened since March 2023. Since then, the Iranian nuclear program has significantly escalated, U.S. and Israeli officials say.

Flashback: The gathering of the forum was supposed to take place last Thursday, but was canceled shortly before by the White House after Netanyahu released a video accusing the Biden administration of stopping the U.S. supply of weapons to Israel.

  • White House spokesperson John Kirby in a briefing on Thursday said “Netanyahu’s video was very disappointing, perplexing and vexing. We expressed our concern to the Israeli government at different levels.”
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SOURCE: www.axios.com

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