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Biden Commends Senator Schumer, Says He Made “Good Speech” in Breaking With Netanyahu

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President Joe Biden
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Joe Biden expressed approval of Senator Chuck Schumer’s recent criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the Gaza conflict, stating that Schumer’s speech resonated with many Americans.

While Biden did not announce any policy changes regarding Israel, his positive response to Schumer’s speech could indicate a broader shift in sentiment within the Biden administration.

Tensions have been escalating between senior members of the Biden administration and Netanyahu, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the absence of a ceasefire agreement. Schumer’s unexpected speech drew criticism from U.S. Republican lawmakers and Israel’s ruling party.

Speaking from the Oval Office during a meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Biden acknowledged Schumer’s speech, noting that he had been informed beforehand. He emphasized that Schumer’s concerns were shared by many Americans, indicating a level of public discontent with Netanyahu’s approach to the conflict.

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Varadkar also weighed in on the situation, emphasizing the urgent need for a ceasefire to facilitate the delivery of essential supplies and the release of hostages. Biden echoed Varadkar’s sentiments, agreeing that a truce was imperative.

The conflict in Gaza began when Hamas, the militant group governing the region, launched an attack on southern Israel. In response, Israel launched a military operation in Gaza, resulting in casualties and humanitarian concerns. Biden acknowledged the resurgence of Islamophobia globally, citing the conflict in Gaza as a contributing factor.

Schumer’s speech marked a significant departure from traditional U.S. support for Israel. He criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict and called for new elections in Israel, accusing Netanyahu of prioritizing his political survival over the country’s best interests. Schumer identified several obstacles to achieving peace in the region, including right-wing Israelis, Hamas, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The response from Likud, Netanyahu’s party, was defensive. It emphasized Netanyahu’s support among the Israeli public and rejected external interference in Israeli politics. Similarly, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended Israel’s sovereignty and rejected outside attempts to influence its governance.

The deadlock in Congress over legislation authorizing military assistance to Israel reflects broader divisions within U.S. politics. Despite bipartisan support for the bill, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has thus far refused to bring it to a vote in the Republican-controlled chamber.

The public criticism of Netanyahu by a prominent U.S. Jewish official like Schumer underscores the shifting dynamics in U.S.-Israel relations. Concerns over the conflict in Gaza have led to divisions within the Democratic Party, with some voters expressing dissatisfaction with Biden’s handling of the situation.

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As tensions persist, Netanyahu has signaled his intention to continue military operations in Gaza despite warnings from Biden about the need for a credible safety plan. Hamas’s proposed ceasefire, which included the release of hostages, was dismissed by Netanyahu as “ridiculous,” though Israel agreed to further talks in Qatar.

In summary, Biden’s response to Schumer’s speech reflects a growing dissatisfaction among U.S. lawmakers and the public with Netanyahu’s handling of the Gaza conflict. The conflict has strained US-Israel relations and highlighted broader divisions within American politics.

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