On the ‘rift’ between Biden and Netanyahu

Much is being made of the “rift” or “break” between the U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over tactics on the “war” against Palestine. Both face serious political fights in their own countries to remain in office. Both face growing opposition and demonstrations by the masses at home and globally. Both are dealing with splits within their administrations and differences that call into question whether this aggressive military push to crush the Palestinian resistance is winnable.

What is really at stake here?

Reports of the alleged differences between Biden and Netanyahu over how to conduct the war and how to control the media narrative are not new. After offering nothing but praise for Israel since October 7, during a Dec. 12 fundraiser, Biden cautioned that Israel was losing international support because of its “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza. On Dec. 22, 2023, Al Jazeera, noted that immediately corporate media like CNN and the Washington Post began writing that the “rift” between the two leaders had finally spilled over into the public arena.

At the same time, Palestinian rights activists raised that reported differences between Biden and Netanyahu were inconsequential as long as the U.S. continued to back Israel. Reports of tactical differences, but without consequential impact, continued through the spring, serving as distractions. Al Jazeera stated that Adam Shapiro, the director of advocacy for Israel-Palestine at Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), said the Biden administration was fully committed to the Israeli war in Gaza since its earliest days.

With growing opposition to U.S. support for Israel at home, how much of what Biden said or did publicly was for show? On more than one occasion in late April and early May, Biden held news conferences to announce that agreements have been reached for stages of a ceasefire in Gaza, only to have Netanyahu announce that Israel would continue the war in Gaza indefinitely. The Biden administration, through Secretary of State Antony Blinken, has twice had to save face by blaming Hamas for failure of announced agreements, even while Gazan leaders suggested similar terms for a settlement months earlier.

On more than one occasion Biden announced that the U.S. would withhold arms shipments to Israel unless they stopped plans to invade Rafah. Yet when the planned ground invasion was carried out, using U.S.-supplied weapons and murdering dozens more Palestinians, Biden claimed he only meant the use of super 2,000-pound bombs, so-called “bunker-busters.” 

Most recently, Netanyahu has leveled complaints against Biden for allegedly failing to send Israel promised arms for four months. Biden has publicly claimed that U.S. weapons have not been used in Rafah, but documented evidence has surfaced showing that weapons that slaughtered civilians in Rafah were clearly produced by U.S. companies.

What’s real and what’s being covered up? 

While the U.S. introduced a United Nations Security Council ceasefire resolution based on the deal proposed by Biden, Netanyahu quickly rejected the plan. While the Israeli army said that most of its operations in Rafah are over, Netanyahu said in an interview with Israeli media that he is not ready to end the war.

Meetings in Washington started June 24 between Netanyahu’s war minister Yoav Gallant and U.S. officials. These meetings are to take up the continuation of the war in Gaza and the possible expansion of war with Lebanon that threatens to provoke a larger regional conflict. Netanyahu is pushing for this, while Biden, at least publicly, waffles. 

Even as the death toll for Palestinians continues to mount in Gaza and increasingly in the West Bank, reports of casualties among Israeli Occupation Forces are surfacing. Israel has tried to control the reports of dead and injured soldiers, claiming that 665 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7.  Reports from the resistance forces in Gaza refute these low numbers. The head of the Israeli army’s wounded association admits that numbers of wounded soldiers exceed 20,000, with over 8,000 permanently disabled as of June 1. (Mondoweiss, June 24)  

Resistance to the war is growing among both U.S. and Israeli military forces. In addition to growing opposition at home for both Biden and Netanyahu, the U.S. and Israel both face mounting financial crises as spending for war mounts. Israel’s economy is tanking, and both countries face deficits that far exceed their gross domestic products.

Some things are clearly obvious — both men are liars concerned with their own political futures. But more importantly, their wrangling over tactics serves to expose the reality that these imperialist countries, with their unlimited supply of genocidal weapons, have been unable to defeat the will of the people of Palestine. 

The great military power of the U.S. in support of Israel has been no match against the combined resistance forces of West Asia and their determination to end the decades of white supremacist, settler-colonial occupation. 

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