Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Netanyahu to address Congress, meet Biden as Israelis ponder relationship: ‘American people are with us’

Share


Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

Please enter a valid email address.

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington, D.C., on Monday evening in preparation for his address to Congress on Wednesday. He will hold his first meeting with President Biden on U.S. soil since the Iran-backed terrorist movement Hamas slaughtered nearly 1,200 people on Oct. 7, including some 30 Americans, and took about 250 hostages.

The two leaders have had sharp disagreements over Israel’s prosecution of the war in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based. A telling example was Israel’s decision to defy Biden and seek military control over the southern Gaza City of Rafah, the last main stronghold of Hamas battalions and hostages held by the U.S.-designated terrorist entity.

Caroline Glick, an American-Israeli commentator and former adviser to Netanyahu, told Fox News Digital, “Biden’s meeting with Netanyahu finds the two leaders on opposite ends of the spectrum. Like the vast majority of Israelis, Netanyahu remains committed to achieving Israel’s war goals of destroying Hamas as a military and political entity, returning all the hostages, preventing Gaza from ever threatening Israel in the future, and changing the strategic balance in northern Israel completely in Israel’s favor to permit the 80,000 Israeli residents of the border towns with Lebanon to return to their homes safely after living in hotels since they were evacuated in October.”

BIDEN’S $230 MILLION GAZA PIER QUIETLY SHUTS DOWN, US SENATOR LABELS PROJECT ‘NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT’

“Biden’s meeting with Netanyahu finds the two leaders on opposite ends of the spectrum,” Caroline Glick, an American-Israeli commentator and former adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tells Fox News Digital. (AP | Getty Images)

According to Glick, who lives in Jerusalem, “Biden seeks a cease-fire that achieves none of these goals. In their meeting, Biden will pressure Netanyahu to abandon Israel’s war goals and accept a cease-fire. Netanyahu will seek to secure weapons supplies to ensure Israel has what it requires to win.”

The incursion into Rafah in May prompted Hamas to soften its negotiating position in talks this month about a cease-fire and the release of the hostages, according to Netanyahu. 

The Israeli prime minister issued boilerplate diplomatic language about his government’s relations with the Biden administration that has at times pandered to anti-Israel elements within its far-left base, according to veteran observers of the relationship.

Netanyahu is expected to meet Biden on Thursday to discuss the goals of the war. The Times of Israel reported that the prime minister said upon leaving Israel for D.C. on Monday that the meeting was “an opportunity to discuss with him how to advance in the critical months ahead the goals that are important for both our countries: achieving the release of all our hostages, defeating Hamas, confronting the terror axis of Iran, and ensuring that all of Israel’s citizens can return safely to their homes in the north and the south.”

Biden continues to push for a cease-fire to stop the war and that Netanyahu provide a concrete plan for a post-Hamas Gaza.

ISRAEL STRIKES IRAN-BACKED HOUTHIS AFTER TEHRAN PROXY ATTACKED JEWISH STATE: ‘SIGNIFICANCE IS CLEAR’

Woman holding sign

A woman holds a sign during a protest calling to bring back the hostages. (Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Fox News Digital interviewed Israelis across the Jewish state – roughly the size of New Jersey – about the complex dynamics of Israel-American relations and what Netanyahu’s trip means for both democracies, especially as Netanyahu gets ready to address Congress on Wednesday.

“Right now I think it is extremely important for Bibi (the nickname for Netanyahu) to go to Congress to tell those who are pro-Israel that we need help. My fear and my disgust is with the Democrats, especially the current President Biden, who does not like Israel,” said Dov Yitzchak Neal, who lives in Gush Etzion, which is located in the Judean mountains. The international community refers to the biblical region of Judea and Samaria as the West Bank. 

Neal said that because Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East, “America must support this country because this country has American values.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Israel Defense Forces soldiers on the front lines ahead of expected ground operations. (Benjamin Netanyahu/@netanyahu)

Dalia, who lives in Israel’s second-largest city, Tel Aviv, echoed Neal’s point.

“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. It is an ally of the United States. And the relationship and the friendship between the two is critical, and I will hope it will remain forever. Biden has been relatively supportive, relatively being the operative word.” She also lambasted the hard left-wing Democrat “Squad” members of Congress because of their anti-Israel views.

NETANYAHU SEEMS TO CONTRADICT BIDEN CEASE-FIRE OFFER: ‘NON-STARTER’ IF ALL CONDITIONS NOT MET

David Binet, who also lives in Tel Aviv, said “America needs to acknowledge that Israel is its greatest ally in the region and at the forefront of the fight against militant Islamic terrorism.”

Tzvia, who was in the heart of the famous Jerusalem market, said, “I don’t think Biden does enough for Israel. I think he needs to do more for us. Be united with us against Iran, Lebanon and Gaza because, in the end, Iran will attack the United States as well, not only us. The American people are with us, most of them. … I don’t know about the government.”

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 15: Thousands of Israelis demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's resignation and the immediate release of Israeli hostages from Hamas captivity on June 15, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Anti-government protests have taken place almost weekly in the past eight months, amid frustration with the Netanyahu government and its failure to secure the release of the remaining 120 Israeli and foreign hostages kidnapped by Hamas to the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – JUNE 15: Thousands of Israelis demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation and the immediate release of Israeli hostages from Hamas captivity on June 15, 2024 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Anti-government protests have taken place almost weekly in the past eight months, amid frustration with the Netanyahu government and its failure to secure the release of the remaining 120 Israeli and foreign hostages kidnapped by Hamas to the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images) (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

On the eve of Netanyahu’s address to Congress, a bipartisan group of former Israeli national security officials, former diplomats and academics sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Mike Johnson, and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries stating their “grave concerns” over Netanyahu’s visit. 

The letter noted in part that, “This visit prioritizes his personal political survivability over our shared interests. Netanyahu has lost the support of the Israeli people and is trying to shore up his domestic coalition through a show of force in the United States.” The letter went onto claim that “He remains unwilling to conceptualize a post-war plan, and continues destabilizing the national security of both Israel and the U.S.”

Biden’s press conference earlier this month left several pro-Israel voices angered by the president’s reaction when asked about Israel’s war with Hamas.

“In his press conference, Biden turned the Israel-Hamas conflict upside down. He didn’t have a single word of condemnation for Hamas or its enablers nor did he mention that upwards of 100 hostages, including eight Americans, continue to be held by Hamas in deplorable conditions. Instead, he criticized Israel and pushed a two-state solution which, for Israel, would lead to its destruction,” David Friedman, who served as Trump’s ambassador to Israel told Fox News Digital.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Biden and Netanyahu

President Biden meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on Sept. 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Amir Avivi told Fox News Digital, “When President Biden doesn’t make it clear that Hamas has attacked viciously in the massacre in Israel and that Israel has the right to defend itself and destroy Hamas completely, this empowers Hamas. The whole existence of Israel is dependent on a decisive win in Gaza. Without a decisive win, Israel will be under huge danger from all fronts. We expect President Biden to stand completely with Israel. We cannot end the war without ensuring never again there will be a terror army in Gaza.” He noted that Israel needs U.S. support to defeat Hamas and secure the release of the hostages.

The U.S. State Department referred Fox News Digital to the National Security Council, which did not immediately respond to a press query.



Source link

Read more

Local News