Netanyahu may not last, Biden and aides increasingly believe

Netanyahu may not last, Biden and aides increasingly believe
# 02 November 2023 11:05 (UTC +04:00)

Joe Biden and top aides have discussed the likelihood that Benjamin Netanyahu’s political days are numbered — and the president has conveyed that sentiment to the Israeli prime minister in a recent conversation, APA reports citing Politico.

The topic of Netanyahu’s short political shelf life has come up in recent White House meetings involving Biden, according to two senior administration officials. That has included discussions that have taken place since Biden’s trip to Israel, where he met with Netanyahu.

Biden has gone so far as to suggest to Netanyahu that he should think about lessons he would share with his eventual successor, the two administration officials added.

A current U.S. official and a former U.S. official both confirmed that the administration believes Netanyahu has limited time left in office. The current official said the expectation internally was that the Israeli PM would likely last a matter of months, or at least until the early fighting phase of Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip was over, though all four officials noted the sheer unpredictability of Israeli politics.

“There’s going to have to be a reckoning within Israeli society about what happened,” said the official who, like others, was granted anonymity to detail private conversations. “Ultimately, the buck stops on the prime minister’s desk.”

The administration’s dimming view of Netanyahu’s political future comes as the president and his foreign policy team try to work with, and diplomatically steer, the Israeli leader as his country pursues a complicated and bloody confrontation with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza and attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

Biden’s trip to Tel Aviv last month was one largely of support, but privately he also urged Netanyahu to proceed cautiously and not widen the war, according to the two senior administration officials. The president pushed the prime minister to prioritize a two-state solution and be mindful of the steps beyond an effort to decapitate Hamas, including the challenges of any sort of future occupation of Gaza.

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