Netanyahu Attacks Biden: 'Inconceivable' to Hold Back Arms Shipments to Israel

When asked about the status of the arms shipment, the U.S. Secretary of State said the single shipment of heavy-payload bombs remains under review but 'everything else is moving normally'

June 18th, 20PM June 18th, 20PM

WASHINGTON - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the Biden administration for pausing an arms shipment to Israel amid concerns about a Rafah invasion – a significant step that will undoubtedly escalate tensions in the weeks ahead of the Israeli premier's July address to a joint session of Congress in Washington.

In a video published on X, Netanyahu said he told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that "it's inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition to Israel. Israel, America's closest ally, is fighting for its life, fighting against Iran and our other common enemies."

When asked about the status of the arms shipment, Blinken said, "We continue to review one shipment that President Biden talked about regarding 2,000-pound bombs because of our concern about their use in densely populated areas like Rafah. It remains under review. But everything else is moving as it normally would move."

Netanyahu added that "during World War II, Churchill told the United States, 'Give us the tools, we'll do the job.' And I say, give us the tools, and we'll finish the job a lot faster." His video marks a significant escalatory step in tensions between the U.S. and Israel that seemed to dissipate after months of rare public rebukes from both allies toward the other.

Jewish Democratic Council of America CEO Halie Soifer defended Joe Biden's record following Netanyahu's attack, saying, "no president has a longer or stronger record of support of Israel than Joe Biden. Since October 7, he has provided an unprecedented amount of military aid to Israel, and sent 100-plus weapons shipments,"

"Biden is a self-declared Zionist who stands with Israel, and Jewish voters stand with him," she added. Soifer's explicit response to Netanyahu marks a rare direct critical engagement from a U.S. Jewish establishment leader to the Israeli prime minister. It's all the more notable considering congressional Democrats are expected to boycott Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress en masse next month.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren confirmed she will boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint session of Congress next month.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has created a humanitarian catastrophe. He has also made clear that he does not support U.S. policy for a two-state solution that will let the people of Israel and the Palestinians develop their own national self-determination and live with dignity," she told CNN.

Republicans, in turn, backed Netanyahu and renewed their sharp attacks on Biden for the paused shipment. Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman noted, "when President Trump was in office, we had one overriding rule regarding our relationship with Israel: NO DAYLIGHT."

"[The] current relationship is so unfortunate, Biden has adopted the worst policy coming at absolutely the worst time. Give Israel what it needs! Israel's victory is America's victory," he added.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked the Biden administration's Israel policy shortly after Netanyahu posted his video, decrying how Biden's paused weapons shipment "has made Israel's task even more difficult."

"Israel needs the weapons the President has withheld. It needs the time and space to finish the job," he continued, adding "it needs the freedom to operate on its own timetable, based on tactical reality in the Middle East, not on the political winds in Washington."

"The last thing a sovereign democracy under siege needs is a public tongue-lashing from the White House or a scolding speech from the floor of the Senate," McConnell said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's speech earlier this year. "Americans should be united in support."

2024-06-18T17:39:09Z dg43tfdfdgfd