Biden Administration consulted Israel expert on how to ‘force the Netanyahu coalition to collapse’ as president accuses the prime minster of ‘hurting Israel more than helping’ and insists Rafah invasion is ‘red line’ that must not be crossed

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • President Biden sharpened rhetoric on Israel’s Gaza action in recent weeks
  • Experts say he’s angry with Netanyahu and claimed he asked how to remove him
  • US Government starting to imply it supports Israel, but not necessarily its leader 

An Israel expert claims the Biden administration asked them how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be toppled from power.

President Joe Biden has in recent weeks sharpened his rhetoric on the Israeli response to the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

His administration has grown increasingly unhappy with the mounting civilian death toll, now at more than 30,000, in Gaza from bombings and ground operations.

Biden has repeatedly criticized Israel’s heavy-handed approach, calling it ‘over the top’ and urging a ceasefire to help starving civilians.

Then after the State of the Union, he was caught on a hot mic telling Democratic colleagues he planned to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Netanyahu.

President Joe Biden has been showing his frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – above the two men meet in Tel Aviv in October

Joe Biden said Netanyahu's approach was hurting Israel, implying his continued leadership may not be in the best interests of the Jewish state

Joe Biden said Netanyahu’s approach was hurting Israel, implying his continued leadership may not be in the best interests of the Jewish state

Biden has known Netanyahu for 50 years and is a staunch ally of Israel, but the insider implied he could be at least discussing to option of removing him.

‘I have been asked by a serious administration figure what it is that will force the Netanyahu coalition to collapse,’ the Israel expert told New York Magazine.

‘They were interested in the mechanics, what can we demand which will collapse his coalition.’

Unlike the American political system, where the Republican and Democratic Parties dominate, Israel has numerous small parties that must team up to govern.

If enough of Netanyahu’s coalition partners pulled out, his Lukid Party would not have enough support for him to remain prime minister.

Former Israeli ambassador to the US Itamar Rabinovich told NY Mag the White House has been unhappy with Netanyahu for years.

‘Now in my view they’re even angrier and they are sharpening the tone. Biden is not coming at him personally, but off-the-record and in closed meetings, the sentiment is clear,’ he said.

Rabinovich said they disagreed on ‘very significant issues’ like what happened to Gaza after the war, the role of the Palestinian Authority, and resuming negotiations about the Palestine peace process.

President Joe Biden (second right) speaks with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (left), Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second left), and Senator Michael Bennet (right with back to camera) as he made his remarks about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

President Joe Biden (second right) speaks with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (left), Secretary of State Antony Blinken (second left), and Senator Michael Bennet (right with back to camera) as he made his remarks about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 

Biden confirmed in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday night that the hot mic moment meant he wanted a ‘very serious meeting’, saying, ‘I’ve known Bibi for 50 years and he knew what I meant by it’.

Then he said Netanyahu’s approach was hurting Israel, implying his continued leadership may not be in the best interests of the Jewish state.

‘[Netanyahu] has a right to defend Israel, a right to continue to pursue Hamas,’ he said. 

‘But he must, he must, he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken. 

‘He’s hurting, in my view, he’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel by making the rest of the world… it’s contrary to what Israel stands for. And I think it’s a big mistake.’

The president was asked if there was a ‘red line’ for his support of Israel, such as the invasion of the city of Rafah – the last place Gazan civilians have to shelter.

‘It is a red line, but I’m never going to leave Israel,’ he said, refusing to cut off military sales to Israel.

‘But there’s red lines that if it crosses and into – it cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead. There’s a consequence of going after – there’s other ways to deal, to get to, to deal with the – with the trauma that caused by Hamas.’

Biden’s absolute support for Israel, while at the same time acknowledging the existence of a red line, came after Vice President Kamala Harris answered a similar question on Friday.

Harris was asked in a CBS interview whether Israel risked losing US aid if the civilian death toll continued to mount.

‘I think it’s important for us to distinguish, or at least not conflate, the Israeli government with the Israeli people,’ she replied.

The implication was that the US could still support Israel like it always had, but that didn’t mean it had to stick by Netanyahu no matter what.

Palestinian children hold a representational funeral for their 10-year-old peer Yezen Al-Kfarna who died of malnutrition, and protest the famine

Palestinian children hold a representational funeral for their 10-year-old peer Yezen Al-Kfarna who died of malnutrition, and protest the famine

A displaced Palestinian child carries a ration of red lentil soup, distributed by volunteers in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

A displaced Palestinian child carries a ration of red lentil soup, distributed by volunteers in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip

Biden said he wanted a six-week ceasefire to allow the release of hostages by Hamas and humanitarian aid for Gazan civilians.

‘I’ve spoken with the majority of the Arab leaders from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Jordan, they’re all prepared to fully recognize Israel and begin to rebuild the region,’ he said.

He said he warned Netanyahu not to make Gaza like the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, though he first misspoke and said Ukraine.

‘It wasn’t necessary. It wasn’t necessary. This caused more problems than it erased, than it cured,’ he said of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions.

Biden responded to some voters who said they preferred Trump because he wasn’t ‘overseeing and actively arming a genocide’ in Gaza.

He denied what was happening in Gaza was a genocide, but said he understood why people were emotional about the issue.

‘It’s not widely shared. You guys make judgments you — you’re not capable of making. That’s not what all those people said,’ he claimed.

‘What they said was they’re very upset, and I don’t blame them for being upset. There’s families there. There are people who are dying. They want something done about it. And they’re saying, Joe, do something, do something.

‘But the idea that they all think it’s genocide is just not – that’s a different situation.’

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are sheltering in the Rafah area after being displaced from their homes by bombs and advancing IDF troops.

Palestinians carry the body of an elderly person recovered from the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike in the town of Al-Zawaida, central Gaza Strip

Palestinians carry the body of an elderly person recovered from the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike in the town of Al-Zawaida, central Gaza Strip

Palestinians walk by as others inspect the area after an Israeli airstrike which hit Al-MasryTower in the Rafah refugee camp, the southern Gaza Strip

Palestinians walk by as others inspect the area after an Israeli airstrike which hit Al-MasryTower in the Rafah refugee camp, the southern Gaza Strip

The UN feared an invasion of the southern Gaza city would cause massive loss of life as civilians have nowhere else to flee.

‘We fear that this already catastrophic situation may slide deeper into the abyss… should Israel launch its threatened military offensive into Rafah,’ the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

The UN said 1.5 million were displaced in ‘deplorable sub-human conditions’ across the city.

‘Any ground assault on Rafah would incur massive loss of life and would heighten the risk of further atrocity crimes. This must not be allowed to happen,’ it added.

Gaza is so wrecked by five months of Israeli bombing and ground assaults that those not among the 30,000 killed are starving to death.

A report by Refugees International on Thursday warned Gazan civilians were already starving in ‘apocalyptic’ conditions akin to a serious famine.

‘Our research makes clear that conditions inside of Gaza are apocalyptic,’ said the report read.

‘After five months of war, Palestinians are struggling to find adequate food, water, shelter, and basic medicine. Famine-level hunger is already widespread and worsening.’

Photos of on Palestinian boy, Yazan al-Kafarna, 10, showed him extremely emaciated, with twig-like limbs and deep-sunk eyes in a face shriveled to his skull.

Yezen Al-Kfarna, a 10 year old Palestinian boy who suffers malnourishment due to the ongoing Israeli blockade

Yezen Al-Kfarna, a 10 year old Palestinian boy who suffers malnourishment due to the ongoing Israeli blockade

He is receiving medical treatment with limited resources at Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, but later died

He is receiving medical treatment with limited resources at Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, but later died

US Army Vessel General Frank S Besson (LSV-1) departs en route to the Eastern Mediterranean after Biden announced the US would provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza by sea

US Army Vessel General Frank S Besson (LSV-1) departs en route to the Eastern Mediterranean after Biden announced the US would provide humanitarian assistance to Gaza by sea

Al-Kafarna was born with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects motor skills and can make swallowing and eating difficult. 

His parents said they struggled to find food he could eat, including soft fruits and eggs, since fleeing their home in the north.

He died due to extreme muscle wastage caused primarily by lack of food, according to Dr. Jabr al-Shair, head of the children’s emergency department at Abu Youssef Najjar Hospital.

On a recent day, around 80 malnourished children crowded the hospital’s wards. Aya al-Fayoume, a 19-year-old mother displaced to Rafah, had brought her 3-month-old daughter, Nisreen, who has lost vast amounts of weight over the winter months, sick with persistent diarrhea and vomiting. 

On her diet of mainly canned goods, al-Fayoume said she doesn’t produce enough breast milk for Nisreen.

‘Everything I need is expensive or unavailable,’ she said.

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