“He’s just proving to be an incredibly problematic partner … it’s a growing issue,” said a House Democrat, adding, “The special relationship is with Israel, not with Bibi.”
President Biden spoke with Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for the first time since December 23 as tensions continue to rise over the issue of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, a cease-fire, a return of Israeli hostages and the establishment of a two state solution..
A statement from Netanyahu’s office to NBC News today contradicted Biden’s position that a two-state solution is possible. “Israel must retain security control over Gaza to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel, a requirement that contradicts the demand for Palestinian sovereignty,” the prime minister’s office said. In addition, “A strike on a house in Damascus, Syria, killed four members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps today, in an incident the Syrian state news agency blamed on Israel.”
Per Axios, “Netanyahu, who has long opposed a two-state solution, acknowledged that the proposal “collides with the idea of sovereignty” for the Palestinians, adding, “What can you do?” In a nod to Biden’s pressure on him to work towards a two-state solution, Netanyahu also said, “I tell this truth to our American friends, and I also stopped the attempt to impose a reality on us that would harm Israel’s security.”
Axios notes the rising tension and the frustrations with Netanyahu’s position. It’s just the latest rift between Democrats in Washington and Israel as President Biden begins to lose his patience with the Israeli premier.