President Joe Biden has privately expressed his dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s military tactics in Gaza.
What Happened: The President has been trying to persuade Israel to agree to a ceasefire but has faced considerable resistance from Netanyahu, NBC News reported, citing sources privy to these discussions.
Biden has allegedly referred to Netanyahu as “this guy” and even an “a**hole” in recent private conversations.
“He just feels like this is enough. It has to stop,” said one person familiar with Biden’s views. The President’s candid remarks about Netanyahu, a leader he has known for decades, have surprised several recipients of his comments.
Biden has grown increasingly frustrated with the rising Palestinian civilian death toll in Gaza and Netanyahu’s unwillingness to pursue a long-term peace agreement.
However, despite Biden’s private criticisms of Netanyahu, there has not been a significant shift in U.S. policy towards Israel. The President believes that publicly rebuking Netanyahu would be counterproductive. According to the report, Biden’s administration has started contemplating policy changes.
Despite his private frustrations, Biden has not publicly criticized Netanyahu too harshly, believing it would be counterproductive. He and his aides continue to support Israel unequivocally.
Why It Matters: The private frustration expressed by Biden comes in the wake of a series of events in the region. Israel on Sunday conducted air strikes in Rafah, Gaza, to free two hostages, resulting in the deaths of at least 37 people. This operation has raised concerns, with the White House advising Netanyahu against launching a military operation in Rafah without ensuring the safety of the roughly 1 million people sheltering there.
Earlier, the Biden administration was reportedly considering slowing down weapon deliveries to Israel as a form of leverage to persuade the Israeli government to temper its military operations in the Gaza Strip. Despite the U.S. administration’s repeated private requests, Israeli officials continue to request more weapons, including large aerial bombs, ammunition, and air defenses.