Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Biden Says People Have ‘Every Reason’ To Believe Netanyahu Prolonging Israel-Hamas War For Political Benefit

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

President Joe Biden called into doubt Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s motives in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, during a late May interview with Time released on Tuesday.

The Biden administration has spent months urging Netanyahu and the Israeli government to limit its military operations against Hamas in Gaza as Biden’s supporters and voters increasingly call for a ceasefire.

With Israel showing no signs of stopping until Hamas is defeated, Biden told Time that people have “every reason” to believe Netanyahu is intentionally prolonging the conflict for his own political self-preservation.

Read: Hamas Could Come Back To Haunt Israel Under Biden’s New Gaza Ceasefire Plan

“There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion. And I would cite that as — before the war began, the blowback he was getting from the Israeli military for wanting to change the constitu— change the court,” Biden told Time, referring to a law passed by Netanyahu’s coalition in July 2023 to limit the Israeli Supreme Court’s oversight of government, which was struck down in January. “And so it’s an internal domestic debate that seems to have no consequence. And whether he would change his position or not, it’s hard to say, but it has not been helpful.”

Asked whether he believed that Netanyahu was responsible for the intelligence failures that allowed Hamas to attack Israel on Oct. 7, Biden said that no “one person” was at fault, then segued and said he had a “major disagreement” with Netanyahu on the plan for Gaza after the war ends, shutting down the idea of Israeli forces taking control of the region.

“I don’t know how any one person has that responsibility. He was the leader of the country, so therefore, it happened. But he wasn’t the only one that didn’t pick it up,” Biden told Time. “He wasn’t the only one that didn’t pick it up. That’s why there’s got to be — my major disagreement with Netanyahu is, what happens after, what happens after Gaza’s over?”

“Do Israeli forces go back in? I’ve been talking to the Egyptians and been talking to the Saudis. I’ve been talking to the Jordanians, I’ve been talking to the Emiratis. The answer is, if that’s the case, it can’t work,” Biden said. “There needs to be a two-state solution, a transition to a two-state solution. And that’s my biggest disagreement with Bibi Netanyahu.”

Read: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders Blasts Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Invite To Speak Before Congress

Biden and Netanyahu, both political veterans, have known each other for decades but have had an increasingly strained relationship amid disagreements on how Israel’s war against Hamas should be carried out. Biden is now advocating for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza amid humanitarian concerns affecting the millions of Palestinians living in the region, but Netanyahu and his coalition believe a ceasefire can only be achieved once Hamas is degraded beyond repair, citing concerns that the terrorist group would never accept true peace.

Defense experts and former U.S. officials previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that a ceasefire now may allow Hamas to regroup, resurge and eventually attack Israel again in the future. Israel has killed thousands of Hamas fighters but thousands more remain, mostly in southern Gaza but also in the central and northern regions.

The two world leaders have had several tense phone calls about the war since Oct. 7, with Biden sometimes becoming confused or upset with Netanyahu’s plans and remarks, even abruptly hanging up on Netanyahu out of anger on one occasion. Netanyahu, for his part, has apparently become upset with how the Biden administration is trying to mitigate Israel’s war aims, reportedly declaring during a war cabinet meeting in May that Israel is not a ” vassal state of the United States.”

The White House and the Israeli Embassy to the U.S. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Daily Caller News Foundation

First published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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