President Joe Biden made his harshest criticism yet of the Israeli government on Tuesday, stating that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a “tough decision to make.” Speaking at an off-camera campaign reception in Washington, Biden expressed his belief that the current Israeli government is hindering a long-term solution and emphasized the need for change. He specifically pointed out far-right members of the government, such as National Security Minister Ben Gvir, who oppose a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
Highlighting his concerns about the Israeli government, Biden described it as the most conservative in Israel’s history. He believes that the government’s policies and actions are making it increasingly difficult for Netanyahu to bring about necessary changes. Biden expressed worry that Israel’s military offensive against Hamas in Gaza and the consequent civilian deaths are causing the country to lose support, both in Europe and globally.
Drawing parallels with the United States’ response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Biden urged Israel to learn from America’s mistakes. He emphasized the importance of accountability and suggested that Israel should hold Hamas responsible for the attack on October 7th. Despite his differences with some Israeli leadership, Biden reiterated his commitment to the safety and security of Jewish people and Israel’s right to exist as an independent state.
The Ministry of Health in Gaza, under Hamas control, reported that over 18,000 people have been killed in the territory since October 7th. In response to Hamas terrorists killing approximately 1,200 people and taking around 240 hostages, Israeli military officials claim that 97 of their soldiers have been killed during the fighting in Gaza. With the escalating death toll, there have been increasing calls for a cease-fire.
The United Nations proposed a resolution last Friday calling for an immediate cease-fire. However, the United States vetoed the resolution, with Deputy U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, arguing that it would only lay the groundwork for future conflicts. This veto has drawn criticism from those advocating for a swift end to the violence.
Last month, a temporary humanitarian pause was in effect as part of a deal to exchange hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners. Unfortunately, the fighting resumed after Israel accused Hamas of breaking the agreement. This cycle of pause and renewed violence has only intensified the urgency for a comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
President Biden’s critical remarks on the Israeli government reflect his belief that they are obstructing progress towards a long-term solution. He highlighted the conservative nature of the current government and expressed concerns about the loss of support for Israel due to the military offensive in Gaza. Biden also called for Israel to learn from past mistakes and emphasized the importance of holding Hamas accountable. With the escalating death toll and calls for a cease-fire, the US’s veto of a UN resolution has drawn criticism. It remains to be seen whether a lasting cease-fire can be achieved and a path towards peace can be established in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.