Netanyahu Will Ignore Biden’s ‘Red Line’ Move Forward Attack Rafah

by | Mar 12, 2024

Netanyahu Will Ignore Biden’s ‘Red Line’ Move Forward Attack Rafah

by | Mar 12, 2024

Rafah

People walk through rubble after Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, Gaza, February 25, 2024. (Credit: AFP / Getty Images / Said Khatib)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back at President Joe Biden after the American leader criticized the onslaught in Gaza. Netanyahu said he would order an attack on Rafah, and insisted his policies are popular among Israelis. While Biden said attacking Rafah was a “red line,” he restated that the US would never stop sending Israel weapons for “self-defense.”

In an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Biden accused Netanyahu of “hurting Israel,” while Axios reported the White House was becoming “frustrated” with the PM’s “ungratefulness.”

Biden told MSNBC that if Israel attacked Gaza’s southern city of Rafah, it would cross a “red line” for Washington, but nonetheless added that he would also supply the weapons Israel needs for self-defense.

Tel Aviv claims its military actions in Gaza are a defensive response to the Hamas attack on October 7. “We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave. You know, I have a red line. You know what the red line is, that October 7 doesn’t happen again. Never happens again,” Netanyahu told Politico in an interview published on Sunday.

In five months, Israel has killed at least 31,000 Palestinians, about two-thirds women and children, and destroyed most of the infrastructure in the Strip. In the process, Israeli forces have displaced most of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million and triggered a humanitarian catastrophe that is nearing outright famine.

While the White House has worked to pressure Tel Aviv to accept a temporary ceasefire and bring major military operations to a close, Netanyahu said the high-intensity campaign would continue for at least four to six weeks and dismissed prospects for a pause in the fighting.

Recently, the Biden administration attempted to split Netanyahu’s policies from the overall sentiments of the Israeli people. During his MSNBC interviews, Biden charged that Netanyahu was “harming Israel.”

Netanyahu rebuked Biden, claiming his policies were widely accepted by Israelis. “The positions that I espouse are supported by the overwhelming majority of Israelis who say to you after October 7,” he said.

“I don’t know exactly what the president meant.” He continued, “But if he meant by that, that I’m pursuing private policies against the wishes of the majority of Israelis and that this is hurting the interests of Israel, then he’s wrong on both counts.”

According to recent polling in Israel, while Netanyahu isn’t personally popular, his policies resonate with the public. “Israelis repeatedly show a historically low level of confidence in the prime minister, while support for his Likud party keeps dwindling,” Ksenia Svetlova wrote for the Atlantic Council. “At the same time, it’s also clear that the general public in Israel supports Netanyahu’s policies…about two-thirds (63 percent) of the Jewish public do not support Israel agreeing in principle to an independent and demilitarized Palestinian state.”

In the interview, Netanyahu also denied that Palestinians are starving in Gaza, saying “We don’t have that kind of information. That’s not the information we have. And we monitor it closely.” The Israeli leader added, “More importantly, it’s not our policy. Our policies are to put in as much humanitarian aid as we could.”

The UN and a multitude of other humanitarian organizations have explained that the Israeli military campaign and restrictions on aid are fueling a humanitarian disaster. Aid groups estimate that about one-quarter of Gaza’s 2.3 million are in a state of starvation, while at least 20 people have reportedly starved to death already.

This article was originally featured at Antiwar.com and is republished with permission.

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

View all posts

Our Books

libertarian inst books

Related Articles

Related

US Signs $23 Billion F-16 Deal with Turkey

US Signs $23 Billion F-16 Deal with Turkey

The US has inked a $23 billion deal with Turkey for 40 F-16 warplanes. Washington promised to sell dozens of the advanced fighter jets to Ankara and upgrade scores of Turkish F-16s in exchange for Turkey approving Sweden's NATO membership.  The AFP reported the deal...

read more
Finnish Forces Conduct First NATO Deployment

Finnish Forces Conduct First NATO Deployment

For the first time since joining the alliance last year, Finland has deployed its fighter jets to another NATO nation. When Helsinki joined the bloc, it ended a decades-long policy of neutrality and doubled the length of the border between NATO and Russia.  On...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This