Netanyahu Ignored Warnings from Aides Against Public Criticism of US – Report 

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. (Photo: US Department of State, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Netanyahu made the decision against the opinion of the advisers and ministers with whom he consulted.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ignored warnings from close aides and ministers not to publicly criticize the administration of US President Joe Biden, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) has reported, citing Israeli media.

Israel’s Channel 13 revealed that a secret meeting was held before Netanyahu’s video statement on Tuesday. In it, he accused Washington of blocking arms shipments to Israel, calling it “inconceivable”.

“I said it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel,” Netanyahu said in the video, adding that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured him the Biden administration was working to remove “bottlenecks”.

National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and other officials unequivocally objected to Netanyahu’s intention, reported MEMO. According to the channel, Dermer asked the prime minister to wait before criticizing the US until he and Hanegbi met with US officials at the White House on Thursday.

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‘Outrage’ Caused

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi have also opposed revealing the dispute publicly, preferring instead to deal with matters privately due to fears that a public dispute with Washington might benefit Hamas and Hezbollah, the report added.

The Israeli channel quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying “Netanyahu made the decision against the opinion of the advisers and ministers with whom he consulted,” adding that the prime minister’s remarks caused “great outrage in the Biden administration”.

According to MEMO, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported that US officials have accused Netanyahu of “ungratefulness”, denying any intention of withholding any arms shipments other than a shipment of heavy bombs that the Biden administration had withheld. That was due to fears of using them in densely populated areas in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Meeting Canceled

On Wednesday, the US-based news website Axios reported that Biden’s top advisers “were enraged by the video” and that the White House decided to cancel a high-level meeting with Israel regarding Iran that was scheduled for Thursday.

Axios quoted a US official as having said “this decision makes it clear that there are consequences for pulling such stunts.”

The news site also quoted an Israeli official as saying “the Americans are fuming. Bibi’s video made a lot of damage.”

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Another American official, however, reportedly mentioned that the meeting was merely postponed to a later date due to organizational issues.

According to Axios, “Netanyahu’s remarks, made on video in English, were one of his harshest public criticisms of the Biden administration since the war in Gaza began on October 7.”

Responding to Netanyahu’s comments, however, Blinken told reporters that the US is committed to Israeli security and continues to ensure arms transfers to Israel on a “regular basis”.

However, he said that the hold on the 2,000-pound bombs bombs remains in place.


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