‘He’s wrong’: PM bluntly rejects Biden critique, says most Israelis back his policies

After President Biden charged that he was ‘hurting Israel’ more than helping him, Netanyahu said public does not want PA in Gaza and vows to expand the campaign into Rafah. He also rebuffed Biden’s “red line”.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, responded directly and publicly on Sunday to the personal criticisms made by US President Joe Biden a day earlier. He said in an interview that Biden was “wrong”, when he claimed that his war against Hamas is “hurting Israel rather than helping Israel”.

In response to Biden’s remarks to MSNBC Netanyahu said to Politico: “I don’t exactly know what the president was trying to say, but if it meant that I am pursuing private policy against the wishes of the majority in Israel and that this hurts the interests of Israel then he is wrong on both counts.”

Netanyahu added, “These aren’t just my personal policies.” They are policies that the vast majority of Israelis support.


The remarks appeared to be an apparent rebuke against White House messaging that was aimed at conveying dissatisfaction with Netanyahu, while expressing strong support for Israel through highlighting the gaps between Israelis and their Prime Minister.

US Vice President Kamala Harris stressed the importance of not conflating Israeli government with Israeli people. She said this on Saturday.

Netanyahu has also implied that he enjoys the support of Arab nations, which see the Iran-backed Palestinian terror groups as a serious threat. He did not mention any.

He said, “They know that and agree quietly with it.” “They know that Hamas is a part of the Iranian terror network.”

In a statement released by Netanyahu’s office, the title of the clip stated that Netanyahu was directly responding to Biden. The clip didn’t include any other remarks from Netanyahu that were later published by Politico. In those comments, he promised to ignore international warnings about invading Rafah in southern Gaza.

The Times of Israel reported on Sunday that Netanyahu decided to give an interview to Politico after Biden’s State of the Union Address on Thursday, in which the President warned that humanitarian assistance “cannot become a secondary concern or a negotiating chip.” He also lamented the fact that most of the “more than 30,000 Palestinians” killed in Gaza weren’t Hamas members and stated that “the only solution” to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict “is a 2-state solution.”

Netanyahu told Politico, “Israelis say the last thing that we should do in Gaza is to install the Palestinian Authority.” They also support his position: “We should resoundingly refuse the attempt to force a Palestinian State down our throats.”

Netanyahu stated that “the majority of Israelis are aware that if we do not act, we risk a repeat of the October 7, massacre which would be bad for Israel, for the Palestinians, and for the future peace in the Middle East.”

According to the Israeli official, Netanyahu’s office is convinced that Biden and his staff read Politico and therefore it was a good outlet for a response.

Biden’s interview with MSNBC on Saturday was a hard-hitting one. He expressed deep US concern over civilian deaths and called the planned IDF operations in southern Gaza Rafah “red lines.” Biden also stated that he would not “cut off all weapons” so they wouldn’t be protected by Iron Dome (missile defense systems). However, he did not pledge to keep supplies of offensive weapons.

Netanyahu reacted in the same way, telling Politico: “We’ll go there,” referring specifically to Rafah.

“We won’t leave. You know I have a line. You know the redline, which is that it won’t happen again. “Never again,” he declared. He said that he did not see negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage-release deal succeeding but predicted that the fighting would end within two months regardless, according to the news website.

He said, “Maybe six to four weeks.”

In recent weeks, there have been several reports that Biden has grown tired of Netanyahu. He is said to have called the prime minister an “asshole”, on numerous occasions.

NBC News reports that Biden expressed frustration with confidants over his “inability” to convince Israel to change their military tactics in Gaza.

He has denounced Netanyahu’s hard-right alliance and is becoming more public in his frustration at the Netanyahu government’s refusal to open additional land crossings to allow desperately needed aid into Gaza. He announced in his State of the Union address that he planned to build a port to facilitate direct aid delivery on the Gaza coastline.

According to Politico, Netanyahu claimed that the idea to ship aid via sea to Gaza was his own and denied the fact that the people of Gaza were starving as locals and relief agencies attested.

The President’s criticisms of MSNBC also reflect his frustration after a mass casualty incident that occurred on February 29, in which dozens Palestinians died while trying to collect aid in Gaza City. Law and order had collapsed in this desperate situation.

He’s also confused by Netanyahu rejecting deals that he thinks would be a win-win for Israel. For example, normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia in exchange for a move towards a Palestinian state.

The Washington Post reported that in February, the US and several Arab allies were preparing a plan for a comprehensive deal between Israel and Palestinians. The plan includes a “firm timetable” for the creation of a Palestinian State.

Biden’s vision of an end to the war, which Israel rejected, begins with a truce extended by a hostage agreement, followed by Arab stakeholders helping rehabilitate Gaza, a reformed Palestinian Authority resuming to govern the enclave. Saudi Arabia also normalizing its ties with Israel.

Netanyahu’s government insists that fighting will not end until Hamas has been completely destroyed. This means expanding the military operations to Rafah. The PA is also not allowed to play a part in the post-war governance of Gaza. This was rejected because Ramallah has failed to condemn the massacre that took place in southern Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and 253 kidnapped.

Benny Gantz, the visiting minister of war in Biden’s cabinet, was warned by top Biden aides last week that Jerusalem may end up occupying Gaza for an indefinite period without any help from international communities if it doesn’t begin to advance a viable alternative rule over Gaza.

Biden and other members of his administration, despite the growing visible rift between them and Hamas, have insisted that Israel has a right to defend itself and avoided publicly supporting a permanent ceasefire.