Biden reportedly foul-mouthed Netanyahu; WH reacts as Blinken heads to Mideast - Hindustan Times
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Biden reportedly foul-mouthed Netanyahu; White House reacts as Blinken heads to Middle East

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 05, 2024 05:00 PM IST

Biden became wary of Netanyahu and privately called him a “bad ****king guy” as the war entered its 5th month, Politico reported, citing unnamed sources.

US President Joe Biden referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “bad ****ing guy” in the midst of escalating tensions between the two leaders over the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

U.S. President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu(REUTERS)
U.S. President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu(REUTERS)

As the war entered its fifth month, Biden became wary of Netanyahu and privately called him a "bad ****ing guy", Politico reported, citing unnamed sources.

Dismissing the report, Biden spokesperson Andrew Bates told the outlet that the two leaders have a "decades-long relationship that is respectful in public and in private," adding that "the president did not say that, nor would he."

The prospect of a Palestinian state as part of a regional accord that would include mending ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia has also caused friction between Netanyahu and White House officials in recent weeks.

The report claims that some Democrats, especially Vice President Kamala Harris, have started to realise that the administration's support for Israel in the war may cost them important support from young voters in the 2024 presidential election.

Also Read: Netanyahu condemns Biden's sanctions on Israeli settlers: ‘Law abiding citizens’

Israel attacks Biden, says Trump would have been more supportive amid war

Itamar Ben Gvir, the minister of Israel's national security, slammed the Biden administration over handling the Gaza conflict, claiming that it helped Hamas and that Israel would have been better off dealing under Trump government.

Ben Gvir stated in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that was published on Sunday that "Instead of giving us his full backing, [President Joe] Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel, which goes to Hamas." “If Trump was in power, the US conduct would be completely different.”

During a campaign event last month, Republican frontrunner Trump called Biden "worst president" in the history of the United States and claimed that “Russia would not have attacked [Ukraine], Israel would never have been attacked” if he had been president.

Ben Gvir's remarks were rejected by Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, a member of Netanyahu’s three-man War Cabinet, claiming that he was "causing tremendous damage" to US-Israeli ties.

Earlier, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant publicly thanked US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Biden administration “for their efforts in pursuing a framework for the return of the hostages, for their commitment to Israel’s security, and their leadership in strengthening security in the Middle East region.”

Also Read: ‘UN aid infiltrated by Hamas’: Israel's Netanyahu as countries stop funding for Gaza

Blinken embarks on his fifth visit to Israel

Benny Gantz's remarks come ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to the region.

Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security advisor, told CBS News that increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza will be a "top priority" during Blinken's visit to Israel. Starting on Monday, Blinken is scheduled to travel to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Israel, and the West Bank.

Addressing the cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu stated that he did not “need help to know how to navigate our relations with the US and the international community, while standing firm on our national interests.”

Last week, Netanyahu harshly reacted after Biden administration imposed sanctions on Israelis settlers accused of committing acts of violence against Palestinians.

"The overwhelming majority of residents in Judea and Samaria are law-abiding citizens, many of whom are currently fighting - as conscripts and reservists - to defend Israel," Netanyahu said.

"Israel acts against all Israelis who break the law, everywhere; therefore, exceptional measures are unnecessary," he added.

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