White House Scolds Netanyahu

There seems to be some discord between the US and Israel. Bearing in mind that each nation is managing perceptions on multiple levels. This started with Netanyahu making a video claiming the US was not providing weapons to Israel, that the US was withholding weapons.

The US fires back


The White House canceled a high-level U.S.-Israel meeting on Iran that was scheduled for Thursday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video on Tuesday claiming the U.S. was withholding military aid, two U.S. officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: President Biden’s top advisers were enraged by the video — a message U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein delivered personally to Netanyahu in a meeting hours after it was published, two U.S. and Israeli sources say. Then the White House decided to go a step farther by canceling Thursday’s meeting.

  • “This decision makes it clear that there are consequences for pulling such stunts,” a U.S. official said.
  • “The Americans are fuming. Bibi’s video made a lot of damage,” a senior Israeli official said, using a nickname for Netanyahu.
  • Some Israeli officials were already en route to Washington when the meeting was cancelled.
  • Two U.S. officials told Axios the meeting was canceled to send a message about the video. A third claimed the meeting was postponed rather than canceled, due to a scheduling issue.

Driving the news: Speaking in English, Netanyahu declared in the video that it was “inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.”

  • In public, the White House expressed bafflement. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted that only one weapons shipment had been paused since the war began, while billions of dollars of weapons had flowed unimpeded. “We genuinely do not know what he is talking about,” she said.
  • In private, Biden’s team was angry and shocked by Netanyahu’s ingratitude, according to one U.S. official.
  • In addition, Biden’s top advisers decided to cancel the strategic dialogue on Iran, which was to include hours of meetings involving officials from the State Department, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies, along with their Israeli counterparts.

My impression/belief is indeed there is actual disagreement taking place. Israel looks to be trying to draw the US into fighting with both Lebanon and Iran. The US can’t afford these wars given what is taking place with Ukraine and the fact remains that China is the primary target of the US. Ukraine and China are not on Israel’s to do list. There will soon be an election in the US and Israel’s behaviour puts the US in a tight spot. I also strongly suspect the US may be doing some behind the scenes maneuvering to topple the Netanyahu government. Which won’t be very difficult given the very shaky foundation on which that government is built.

One reply on “White House Scolds Netanyahu”

Leave a Reply