Benjamin Netanyahu Cancels White House Meeting, Citing ‘Change in the American Stance’

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to cancel a scheduled meeting between an Israeli delegation and the Biden administration due to what he perceives as a shift in U.S. policy towards Israel.

This decision was prompted by a recent United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan, to establish a lasting and sustainable peace agreement.

Despite also urging the release of all hostages, this demand was not tied to the ceasefire terms. The United States chose not to veto the resolution and instead abstained from voting, causing tension in the Israeli-U.S. relationship.

Due to the shift in the American stance, Netanyahu decided to cancel the White House meeting planned for this week.

The meeting was set to involve various Israeli officials such as Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

Netanyahu’s office stated that by failing to veto the cease-fire resolution, “the U.S. retreated from its consistent stance in the Security Council that only a few days ago tied a ceasefire to the release of hostages.” However, the Biden administration refuted that claim.

“Our vote does not — and I repeat that, does not — represent a shift in our policy,” U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby said Monday. “We’ve been clear and we’ve been consistent in our support for a cease-fire as part of a hostage deal.”

Last week, Russia and China vetoed a U.S. resolution “tying a cease-fire to the release of the 134 hostages, including four Americans, held by Hamas,” Jewish Insider reported.

During the weekend, the U.S. purportedly attempted to modify the wording of the resolution that was officially adopted on Monday. The phrase “permanent ceasefire” was substituted with “lasting ceasefire.”

Following Monday’s vote, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield disclosed that she made an unsuccessful effort to incorporate a condemnation of Hamas in the resolution.

“We did not agree with everything in the resolution,” she said. “For that reason we were unfortunately not able to vote yes.

“However, as I’ve said before, we fully support some of the critical objectives in this non-binding agreement,” Thomas-Greenfield continued. “And we believe it was important for the council to speak out and make clear that … any cease-fire must come with the release of all hostages.”

A hostage release is “the only durable end to this conflict,” she said.

President Joe Biden invited the Israeli delegation to the White House last week to discuss a proposed military operation in Rafah, a city located on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt.

According to Jewish Insider, Biden believes that carrying out such an operation would be a “mistake,” while Netanyahu argues that it would effectively eliminate the remaining Hamas battalions and provide humanitarian aid to civilians.

The decision to cancel the White House meeting highlights the growing tensions between the U.S. and Israel.

Biden has stated that Israel’s incursion into Rafah would cross his “red line,” a warning that Netanyahu has chosen to disregard.

Biden and Netanyahu are at odds over the issue of a “two-state solution” in the region, as reported by Jewish Insider. Biden’s backing of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call for new elections in Israel has raised concerns of foreign election interference.

Biden’s shifting stance towards Israel may be influenced by his aim to appeal to Muslim populations in Michigan and anti-Israel Democrats across the country in preparation for the 2024 election.

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