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Biden gov’t preparing for a post-Netanyahu era in Israel, US media says

January 18, 2024 at 9:59 am

US President Joe Biden (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) meet in Tel Aviv, Israel on October 18, 2023 [GPO/ Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images]

NBC yesterday quoted American officials as saying that divisions between the Biden administration and that of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “have only become more pronounced since [Secretary of State] Blinken’s visit to Israel.”

“The secretary of state returned to Washington, the officials said, having been rebuffed by Netanyahu on all but one of the administration’s asks: an understanding that Israel would not attack Hezbollah in Lebanon,” NBC reported.

It quoted American officials as saying that Blinken told Netanyahu that “ultimately there is no military solution to Hamas, and that the Israeli leader needs to recognise that, or history will repeat itself and violence will continue.” However, the officials said, Netanyahu was unmoved.

“The Biden administration is looking past Netanyahu to try to achieve its goals in the region,” one official told the news station. Netanyahu, US officials said, “will not be there forever”, noting that the Biden administration is trying to lay the groundwork with other Israeli and civil society leaders in anticipation of an eventual post-Netanyahu government.

This week, Axios news website reported that US President Joe Biden hung up the phone on Netanyahu during their last call, in new evidence of the dispute between them growing as a result of the ongoing Israeli genocidal war on the Gaza Strip which has entered its 104th day. The call had taken place on 23 December, the site added, and they pair have not spoken since.

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