Biden-Netanyahu Rift Grows Wider, But US-Israel Strategic Relations Persist

2024/04/13 | Note, political, top news

Strategic Council Online – Opinion: In recent weeks, the verbal disputes between Washington and Tel Aviv regarding the Gaza war have increased. The tensions that have arisen are such that some international observers interpret it as a difference between America and the Zionist regime, and some talk about the first "rift" between the two sides in the last 76 years.

Barsam Mohammadi – regional issues expert

While more than 30,000 civilians, including women and children, have so far been martyred in Gaza, and the US government has not taken any effective measures to stop the killing machine of the Zionist regime, the attack on the international aid workers and the killing of seven aid workers of the “World Central Kitchen,” “which is an international non-governmental organization, has intensified the differences, so that according to a report by the American news agency “Axios,” in the last phone call between Biden and Netanyahu, which lasted more than 30 minutes, the two sides had a “tense and challenging” conversation.

John Kirby, White House spokesman, and National Security Advisor, announced after the phone conversation between Biden and Netanyahu: “If we don’t see a change in Israel’s policies, our approach will change too.”

Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders also said, “We cannot beg Netanyahu to stop bombing civilians one day and send him thousands more 2,000 lb. bombs that can level the entire city blocks.

Regarding the differences that have surfaced between Tel Aviv and the White House, the nature of the differences mentioned above and tensions, and whether such tensions can overshadow the strategic relations between the two sides, there are significant points, the most important of which will be addressed hereunder:

One: Considering the history of relations between America and the Zionist regime and its strategic dimensions, as well as the commitment of the American government to provide and guarantee the security of the Zionist regime in any situation and at any cost, it is pretty clear that the existing differences, although to a certain level, cause a relative change in the approach of the two sides, but at the macro level, it does not create a disturbance in the strategic foundations of Tel Aviv-Washington relations and does not harm the strategic commitment of the US towards the Zionist regime.

In this connection, existing differences should be considered “tactical” and provisional. To put it simply, the existing differences are not basically between “America” and the “Israeli regime” but between “Biden” and “Netanyahu” and at the level of leaders.

It is worth noting that Benny Gantz, a member of the Zionist regime’s war cabinet, has emphasized, “despite the differences, strategic relations with America should not be harmed.” This means that the Zionist side never seeks to deepen the dispute with America and still considers this country its “strategic ally.”

It is noteworthy that in the same challenging 30-minute conversation with Netanyahu, Joe Biden assured this regime that “America supports the Israeli regime against possible threats from all sides.”

Two, America has effective levers to put pressure on the Zionist regime to end the Gaza war in the short term, but why it does not want to use them shows that the tension in the relations between the two sides is mainly about “how to manage and the form of the war” and not its strategic dimensions. The “security of the Israeli regime” is still a “red line” for America, especially for Biden, who considers himself committed to the Zionist regime. Biden is one of the few presidents who considers himself a part of the “Israel story.”

Despite this, Biden, who is on the eve of the presidential election, does not like to be accused in the American public opinion of supporting the killing of civilians in Gaza.

With less than eight months left to the US presidential election and Biden not enjoying favorable popularity and status in domestic polls, he desperately needs an end to the war to strengthen his weak political coalition. On the contrary, many US politicians, especially from the Republican Party, believe that Netanyahu will prolong the war to prevent Biden from being re-elected.

Even in the face of the most right-wing government in the history of the Zionist regime, Biden’s approach is not to pull the rug out from under Netanyahu’s feet in the middle of the war; the aim is instead to “adapt” Netanyahu to the domestic and international requirements of America. Biden has no desire to cut off US aid to the Zionist regime. Under internal pressure, he is only looking for mechanisms to manage tensions and solve problems, especially regarding the security of the Zionist regime.

Three: The personal relationship between Biden and Netanyahu, as well as the need to boost Biden’s public image in the US elections, which are tied to the Gaza war, are among the main reasons for the outbreak of tension in the relationship between Tel Aviv and the White House.

In this framework, the difference between America and the Zionist regime should be sought in the relationship between Netanyahu and Biden. Since the first days of Netanyahu’s victory, Biden has been against his policies and has evaluated them to weaken the relations between the US and the Israeli regime.

Therefore, the uproar between the two political leaders, especially from Biden, is understandable; Biden, who considers himself a Zionist, does not like Netanyahu’s policies to disrupt his country’s strategic relations with the Zionist regime. Of course, the election atmosphere is also effective in the pressure of the Biden administration on Netanyahu. Although the White House still insists that there has been no change in the country’s policy regarding supporting its ally in response to the Palestinian and Gaza resistance, it will continue to support the Zionist regime in its attempt to destroy Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

 

Final Point

As Eisenhower’s differences and pressures on Ben Gurin in 1957 to withdraw from the Sinai Desert, John F. Kennedy’s pressures on Ben Gurin in 1962 due to Washington’s suspicion that the Zionist regime was building nuclear arms in Dimona, Nixon’s pressures in 1973 on Golda Mayer for accepting the ceasefire with the Arabs and dozens of subsequent disagreements between the parties, have not been able to weaken the strategic relations between Tel Aviv and Washington, the disagreements and pressures of Biden on Netanyahu will not disrupt the nature of strategic relations of the two sides.

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