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Is Netanyahu Trying to Switch Biden for Trump?

© AP Photo / Susan WalshPresident Donald Trump, left, listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration's much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Donald Trump, left, listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, to announce the Trump administration's much-anticipated plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.06.2024
“My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel” - then US Vice President Joe Biden, April 23, 2015.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video on his social media accounts, criticizing the White House for allegedly withholding weapon shipments to his country.
During World War II, Churchill told the United States, ‘Give us the tools, we’ll do the job.’ And I say, give us the tools, and we’ll finish the job a lot faster,” Netanyahu said.
Since October 7, more than 100 military aid transfers have been sent by the United States to Israel, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. The administration of President Joe Biden has also supported Israel on the international stage, vetoing multiple UN Security Council resolutions on behalf of Israel and voting with Israel in the UN General Assembly.
Nevertheless, Netanyahu is willing to criticize his most adamant supporter on the world stage in hope that his possible replacement, Republican candidate and former US President Donald Trump, will be even more supportive.
“Biden is Netanyahu’s lapdog – will do anything he wants,” explained author and journalist Robert Fantina on Sputnik's Fault Lines. “[But] Netanyahu knows that Trump will do even more if he becomes president again.”
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Biden has occasionally used language critical of Israel’s tactics and delayed one shipment that included 2,000lbs bombs before Israel invaded Rafah, but the vast majority of shipments continued unabated and Biden has continually stressed that he supports Israel.

"So [Biden is] trying to walk this middle line, which is pleasing no one, and he doesn't understand why it's not pleasing everyone,” said Fantina.

On the other hand, Donald Trump was extremely supportive of Israel while in office. He moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move so appreciated by Israelis that they named an illegal settlement after the former President in Golan Heights. However, Trump has occasionally criticized Netanyahu, souring on him after the Prime Minister called to congratulate Biden on his 2020 presidential election win.
He has also occasionally criticized Israel’s tactics in Gaza, but largely focused on the perception it created, rather than the plight of Palestinians suffering under those tactics.
In March, Trump told an Israeli media outlet that Israel “made a very big mistake” by publicizing its actions in Gaza. “I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, ‘Oh that’s a terrible portrait,” Trump said, adding later that Israel needs to improve its press relations tactics. “They’re being hurt very badly, I think in a public relations sense.”
Fantina argues that this isn’t a sign that Trump would reign in Netanyahu, but rather advocate for the policy of General von Moltke of Prussia (not to be confused with his nephew of the same name who led the German army in World War I), who argued that, “The greatest kindness in war is to bring it to a speedy conclusion,” a philosophy that argues a brutal short war is preferred to a long war fought in a restrained way.
“[Trump] isn't looking at international law or human rights. He's looking at what Israel wants and how Israel can best get it,” Fatina explained. “So, it can best get it with US weapons and by changing the narrative and the optics and not letting the news see what's happening there. So these are the things that Trump is concerned with.”
“They’ve got to finish what they started, and they’ve got to finish it fast, and we have to get on with life,” Trump said in another interview in April.
It has been postulated by many observers that Netanyahu was in a tenuous position both politically and legally before October 7 and the war has kept his political enemies at bay, so he may not be in any hurry to finish the war. However, Netanyahu may believe he can more easily manipulate Trump. Republican voters remain far more supportive of Israel than Democrats, so while Biden has occasionally offered criticisms of Israel to pacify segments of his base, Trump would have no such hangups.
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[Biden] has said things like Israel’s bombardment has been over the top – he used that expression once. I don’t think Trump would ever say that,” speculated Fantina. “He would say this is a job that needs to be done and these ‘terrorists’ need to be destroyed and wouldn’t put any breaks whatsoever verbally or as far as shipments are concerned to Israel.”
Biden presented a ceasefire deal on May 31, claiming at the time that it was authored by the Israelis, but Israeli officials have declined to confirm that they wrote the deal. On Monday, Netanyahu claimed that Israel was "committed" to the deal but also said that there would be no permanent ceasefire, a major component of the deal seen as non-negotiable by Hamas. “We are committed to continuing the war after a pause, in order to complete the goal of eliminating Hamas,” Netanyahu said.
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