Monday, March 4, 2024

Biden says Israel losing support for Gaza war, suggests Netanyahu make change

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday warned that Israel is starting to lose support around the world for its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip which has so far killed at least 18,000 people, mainly children and women.

Biden reiterated his support for Israel amid the war but told a group of donors at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “has to change, and with this government, this government in Israel is making it very difficult for him to move”.

“Bibi’s got a tough decision to make,” Biden stated, referring to Netanyahu.

“This is the most conservative government in Israel’s history,” he continued, adding the government “doesn’t want a two-state solution.”

Biden on Monday called his commitment to Israel “unshakeable”, but he stressed, “They have to be careful. The whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight. We can’t let that happen.”

While the White House has supported Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, it has increasingly stressed concerns over causalities in Gaza and the need for humanitarian aid. It has also made clear its support for a two-state solution, a concept Biden has long advocated for.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu on Tuesday said that while he appreciates the support from Biden for destroying Hamas, there are disagreements between them about potential next steps for the region after the war.

“Yes, there is disagreement about ‘the day after Hamas’ and I hope that we will reach agreement here as well. I would like to clarify my position: I will not allow Israel to repeat the mistake of Oslo,” he added, referring to the Oslo Accords that were signed at the White House in 1993 for Palestinians and Israelis to recognize the other’s right to exist.

He vowed to block any attempt to install the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Gaza after the war with Hamas, putting him in direct opposition to the US, which wants to see the body rule the coastal strip after the war.

Biden, during the Tuesday fundraiser, reiterated his support for Israel and his stance against antisemitism in the US and elsewhere.

“The safety of the Jewish people [is] literally at stake,” Biden stated.

Prior to the conflict, Biden had called Netanyahu’s government the most conservative in Israel’s history and urged the prime minister to pull back on the nation’s controversial judicial overhaul.

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