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Netanyahu vs. Biden: Israel’s Rafah Op Spits Allies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is gearing up for a showdown with President Joe Biden as they clash over plans for a military operation in Rafah. Israel insists that the operation is crucial to defeating Hamas, but Biden is staunchly opposed to the idea.

In a recent conversation between the two leaders, Biden expressed strong opposition to an Israel Defense Forces invasion of Rafah, insisting that Israel should be able to take down Hamas without resorting to a large-scale military campaign. As a result, Biden invited Israeli officials for talks in Washington next week to discuss alternative strategies.

Netanyahu, however, has a different take on the conversation, emphasizing the need to enter Rafah and eliminate Hamas’s remaining forces. To reinforce his position, Netanyahu plans to send Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, both prominent figures in the Likud Party, to Washington for discussions.

The political dynamics at play are clear, with Biden facing pressure from anti-Israel activists within his own party. The recent Michigan Democratic primary, organized by these activists, serves as a warning to Biden that he risks losing support from vital swing state voters if he doesn’t take a hardline stance against Israel.

Despite the diplomatic tension, Netanyahu is reaching out to American lawmakers in an effort to garner support. He addressed the Senate Republican caucus via video and offered to speak to the Senate Democratic caucus, though his request was declined. However, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has extended an invitation for Netanyahu to address the House, pending approval from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The ongoing conflict with Hamas is a driving force behind Israel’s quest for continued support from the United States. With the war having lasted 167 days and claimed numerous lives, Israel remains determined to eradicate the terrorist organization responsible for the bloodshed.

As tensions escalate between Netanyahu and Biden, it’s clear that the battle for military action in Rafah is far from over. The looming showdown between the two leaders will undoubtedly have significant implications for the future of the conflict in the Middle East.

Written by Staff Reports

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