Netanyahu: 'Israel is Not a Vassal State of the United States'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

A day after Joe Biden warned that a major attack by Israel on Rafah would cross a "red line" for U.S. supporting Israel in the Gaza War, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his war cabinet and went off on Biden,


"We are not a vassal state of the United States!" he declared. According to Axios, three people confirmed those remarks, including an aide to Netanyahu.

Biden has engineered this crisis in relations with Israel to placate the Arab minority who believe they now have leverage over Biden for the first time. No American president has ever threatened Israel like Biden has, and he's doing it because he needs the Muslim-Arab vote in Michigan and Pennsylvania to win reelection. What will the Muslims do with this newfound clout? 

Netanyahu is going ahead with his invasion of Rafah but does not want a clear break with Washington. He's attacking the city piecemeal, hoping to avoid a large number of civilian casualties. He's going to leave the next move to Biden. If the American president wants to see a rupture in U.S.-Israel relations, it will be up to Biden to initiate it.


During his long rant at the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu compared his clash with Biden over Rafah to Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, declaring independence in 1948 over the objections of then-U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, two sources with knowledge of the meeting said.

Netanyahu also noted his speech to Congress in March 2015, when he voiced his opposition to President Obama's efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

That speech led to a deep rift in U.S.-Israel relations and angered many Democrats.

An aide to Netanyahu recounted the prime minister telling the cabinet that he knew how to push back against U.S. pressure and would do it again if necessary.

"When is comes to threats to our security we will do whatever it takes," the aide recalled Netanyahu telling the cabinet.


In an attempt to play both sides against the middle, Biden recently approved $1 billion in military aid to Israel. The aid had been in the pipeline for months, but Biden expedited the transfer, trying to assuage Jewish voters.

It probably won't work. And even some of Biden's biggest Jewish donors are pushing back on the president for his embargo on some arms to Israel.

Daily Caller:

The president hasn’t only been facing backlash from Israel over his comments to CNN, Biden is reportedly facing criticism from some of his biggest backers. Following the president’s comments, Democratic donor and Israeli American Haim Saban sent an email to White House officials, asking them to inform Biden of his opposition to his remarks, according to an email obtained by Axios. (RELATED: More Protest Votes Take Bite Out Of Biden’s Primary Victories)

“Bad, Bad, Bad, decision, on all levels, Pls reconsider,” Saban wrote in the email, according to Axios.

“Let’s not forget that there are more Jewish voters, who care about Israel, than Muslim voters that care about Hamas,” he added.

That's the key. And that's the trap that Biden has fallen into. The Jewish vote is a much larger part of the Democratic Party coalition than Arab-Muslims. But the Muslim vote is vital in a few key states that Biden absolutely needs to win. His path to 270 electoral votes is far more difficult without Michigan or Pennsylvania. And losing both of those states would finish him.


A smarter president might have tried to finesse the situation, appearing to give both sides what they wanted without doing so. But this would appear to be beyond Biden and his advisors, who are besotted with ideology and without the vision needed to govern effectively.


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