Tension Between Biden, Netanyahu Grows; Republicans Show Support For Israel

After President Joe Biden refused to veto the U.N. Security Council’s (UNSC) resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a rift has grown between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the United States. While the Biden administration has criticized Netanyahu’s response, some Republicans have shown their continued support for Israel.

The UNSC voted 14-0 in favor of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Monday after the U.S. refused to veto the resolution. The resolution also requires an unconditional liberation of Israeli hostages and increasing the amount of aid to Gaza.

After the U.S. voted for a ceasefire, Netanyahu canceled his scheduled visit to the White House on Monday that was supposed to take place this week. The meeting was supposed to discuss Israel’s plan to conduct a military operation in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where roughly 1.5 million Palestinians have been sheltering amid the ongoing war, while Hamas terrorists are also hiding out in the area.

According to Netanyahu’s office, the Biden administration’s decision to abstain from voting was a “clear retreat from the consistent position of the U.S.” since the beginning of the war.

“This withdrawal hurts both the war effort and the effort to release the hostages, because it gives Hamas hope that international pressure will allow them to accept a cease-fire without the release of our hostages,” the Israeli prime minister’s office added.

The Biden administration responded by claiming that Netanyahu was overreacting to the decision.

“All of that is self-defeating. The prime minister could have chosen a different course — to align with the U.S. on the meaning of this resolution. He chose not to, apparently for political purposes,” a U.S. official said.

While Netanyahu canceled his visit to Washington, D.C., Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant kept the meeting he had scheduled with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

Biden’s refusal to veto the resolution has not only angered Netanyahu but many Republican lawmakers as well.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with the Israeli prime minister on Tuesday, letting him know that “We have Israel’s back.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) called Biden’s decision “deeply offensive and strategically stupid.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) also shared his disgust with Biden’s lack of loyalty to Israel, calling the president “a disgrace.”

In an interview, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) said that “House Republicans will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine-Jean Pierre announced that Netanyahu agreed to reschedule his visit to Washington, D.C.