Biden says Israel is LOSING world support in war with Hamas in stunning rebuke: President turns on Netanyahu and says his government ‘needs change’ in scathing criticism during Gaza bombing

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • ‘They’re starting to lose that support by [the] indiscriminate bombing that takes place,’ Biden said of Israel
  • His harsh criticism came behind-closed doors at a political fundraiser 
  • Biden also accused Israel of not wanting a two state solution, which would give Palestinians their own nation 

President Joe Biden issued a stunning rebuke of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning Israel is losing support across the globe and its conservative government needs to ‘change’.

In a surprise move Biden ramped up pressure on Israel to rein in its bombing campaign in Gaza. It was his most scathing criticism since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas.

Biden also accused Israel of not wanting a long-term two-state solution, which would give Palestinians their own nation. 

The rupture between Washington and Tel Aviv came amid a growing civilian death toll in Gaza as Israeli forces search for Hamas terrorists, and as Biden faces calls from his own party and allies to seek a ceasefire.

Speaking at a closed-door political fundraiser in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Biden said: ‘They’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place.

‘He (Netanyahu) has to change this government. This government in Israel is making it very difficult.  Bibi’s got a tough decision to make. This is the most conservative government in Israel’s history.’

President Joe Biden issued his harshest criticism to date against Israel – above Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv in October

Biden issued his blunt warning hours after Netanyahu flatly rejected American plans for the future of the region. 

Netanyahu ruled out any later role for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza, which Washington wants to see, opening up a divide between the allies.

‘There is disagreement about ‘the day after Hamas,’ Netanyahu said in a video statement posted on social media, ‘and I hope that we will reach agreement here, as well.

‘After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism,’ Mr. Netanyahu said. ‘Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan.’

Israel has retaliated hard against Hamas since the terrorist group attacked on October 7th. But many nations are expressing concern about the number of Palestinian civilians being killed as Israel bombs Gaza. 

Nearly 16,000 Palestinians have been killed and most of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants have been displaced since the war began.

Damage also has been considerable. Nearly 40,000 buildings or about 18% of all pre-conflict structures have been damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip, a U.N. assessment showed on Tuesday. 

With little aid allowed into Gaza, Palestinians face severe food shortages along with a lack of water and other basic goods. Some worry that Palestinians will be forced out of the territory altogether.

About 1,300 people on the Israeli side have died since the war began. Israel says Hamas still has 117 hostages and the remains of 20 people who died in while in captivity or during the initial attack. 

Biden’s remarks came after he invited family members of Americans taken hostage by Hamas to a meeting at the White House on Wednesday after some were declined an invitation to a menorah lighting ceremony.

It will be Biden’s first in-person meeting with them since the Israeli Americans were kidnapped on October 7 during the attacks in Israel.

The meeting invite came after several family members had asked to attend a Hanukkah reception at the White House on Monday night but never received invitations, the father of one missing Israeli American told CNN.

‘We’re not going to stop until every hostage is returned home,’ Biden told donors in Washington on Friday, saying the U.S. commitment to Israel is ‘unshakable’. 

Several family members have been camped outside the White House in Lafayette Square where, on Tuesday, they attempted to stage a holiday meal on a picnic blanket on the sidewalk outside the residence to demonstrate the missing places that will be at their tables over the holidays.

People search through the rubble of damaged buildings following an Israeli air strike on Palestinian houses, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas

People search through the rubble of damaged buildings following an Israeli air strike on Palestinian houses, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas

President Joe Biden is encouraging Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) to change his strategy

President Joe Biden is encouraging Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) to change his strategy

Smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel

Smoke rises over Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from southern Israel

Eight Americans – seven men and one woman – are still believed to be held hostage after being taken captive since Hamas unleashed its surprise attack on Israeli. Four Americans, including a 4-year-old girl and three women, were released as part of a U.S.-negotiated cease-fire that was brokered with the assistance of Qatar and Egypt.

It’s unclear how many families will attend Wednesday’s meeting with the president and some may appear virtually, a White House official told NBC News.

Biden has spoken with some family members over zoom. Other senior administration officials have met wth some family members in person, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Family members have expressed their frustration with the slow pace Israeli Americans are being released. The White House has said that at least 31 Americans were killed by Hamas and other militant groups on Oct. 7.

Administration officials have said repeatedly they remain in close contact with their Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian counterparts about the situation after the truce that allowed for some hostages to be released was broken.

Sullivan blamed Hamas for the breakdown of the Nov. 24 to Dec. 1 truce because the militants refused to release more hostages. 

‘Hamas to this day continues to hold women, elderly people, civilians in significant numbers. And yet still, it’s saying, Hey, how about everybody just stops. So we believe that Israel has the right to defend itself,’ he said a Wall Street Journal forum.

He said during his upcoming visit to Israel he will discuss with Israeli officials their timetable for the war in Gaza.

‘The subject of how they are seeing the timetable of this war will certainly be on the agenda for my meetings,’ said Sullivan, who is expected to travel later this week.

Meanwhile, Ruby Chen, whose son Itay is a reservist missing since Hamas’ attack on Israel, told CNN a number of the families were in Washington, DC, this week, and had asked the White House about attending the Hanukkah reception but were not invited.

The reception, which celebrated the fifth night of Hanukkah, featured some 800 guests, according to the White House, including Holocaust survivors, lawmakers and various Jewish leaders.

Community of Jewish groups gather outside of the White House during the fifth night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights

Community of Jewish groups gather outside of the White House during the fifth night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights

President Joe Biden looks on as second gentleman Douglas Emhoff lights the menorah during a Hanukkah Holiday Reception in the East Room of the White House

President Joe Biden looks on as second gentleman Douglas Emhoff lights the menorah during a Hanukkah Holiday Reception in the East Room of the White House

At that event, Biden touted the work his administration has been doing to try to  secure the release of the remaining hostages and to get humanitarian aid into Gaza. 

He said he had spent ‘probably up to 20 hours’ working with Israeli, Qatari and Egyptian officials.

‘There’s a whole range of things going on now that are really very, very difficult,’ Biden said. ‘We’ve gotten more than 100 hostages out and we’re not going to stop till we get every one of them home.’

But the White House also has said they don’t have any specific news to share.

‘We’re not close to inking another deal on a humanitarian pause and nor do I have any news to break here today about the return of hostages, either ours or those of many other countries that are being held hostage,’ spokesman John Kirby said last week.

‘We’re still trying to get as much information as we can about the hostages that are being held. We have some information, as I said before, on some of the hostages because their families are talking to us. And that’s been a terrific source of information and context,’ he added.

‘We have less information on others, but not for lack of trying.’

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