Lou Sandler

Biden isn’t ‘sacrificing Israel,’ but has had enough of Netanyahu

I’ve been reading comments in TOI strings attached to Biden’s decision to — temporarily — withhold 2,000 pound bombs, and other higher intensity offensive weaponry, to reduce the chance that Netanyahu will to do to Rafah what he’s done across Gaza. And what Netanyahu has done may well have finally exceeded the line for war criminal behavior.

I still find many of the comments — very sad.

Netanyahu is not an honest, trustworthy or sincere player. Netanyahu’s primary concern is Netanyahu and ensuring his extremist, fundamentalist coalition holds together. And since core members of his coalition have unmeetable, insatiable demands, Netanyahu has long since lost any control or the primary authority he promised Israel he would exercise when he formed his coalition.

The reason for the war in Gaza is only Hamas and its savagery which must end unconditionally. But Israel was particularly ill-prepared and Netanyahu’s politics and gross political miscalculations were major component pieces.

In his desperation to placate his most extreme coalition members, Netanyahu kept much of the IDF’s primary attention on the West Bank and away from Gaza, despite the so very many red flags that were flying high in Gaza.

But reality informs there is no chance that Jewish fundamentalists and extremists as Ben Gvir and Smotrich will ever be satisfied until they take back total control of both the West Bank and Gaza. Until Jewish settlers are able to return to Gaza. Netanyahu must certainly know this, but continues to cowardly plow forward terrified of losing his coalition.

Netanyahu must resign.

But consider a possible alternative reality. Netanyahu may not yet have considered that, in the shorter term, he could be much better off if he forced a confrontation with the most extreme, fundamentalist members of his coalition and called their bluff to end the coalition. Push them into a position they do bust up the coalition — then — don’t look back. If Netanyahu truly thinks there is a way towards his own political redemption, this is about the only path to follow.

Netanyahu could then form a brand new and more rational ‘war’ government with the moderate members of the Knesset and government with more thoughtful advisors to include working with them on an equal basis. Core political members of this new government, to include Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz, would become primary faces of Israel rather than having Netanyahu the sole representative still issuing threats and ultimatums which a majority of Israel likely do not support. Netanyahu still seems to not yet have a clue about the causal realities to his actions; in the past and present.

Accusations that Biden is now ‘siding with terrorists;’ or will ‘sacrifice Israel’ are well beyond absurd. Do folks remember how, not very long ago, Biden had strong support from Israeli citizens? Biden stood beside and with Netanyahu at the start of and well into the war Hamas initiated and likely had higher ratings in Israeli polls than did Netanyahu? Biden has long been a principal and deeply dedicated supporter of Israel. This, even as Netanyahu played off of America’s dishonest GOP while aligning with and pandering to Israel’s extremist, violent Right.

Netanyahu has been consistently dishonest and manipulative of Biden and, before him, Obama and figured he could continue to play off of America’s hypocritical GOP politics indefinitely. Netanyahu has tried to humiliate and intimidate Biden with help from American special interest groups and politicians. Apparently, Netanyahu thought this to be an indefinite strategy which would allow him and his coalition the free range for the far excessive destruction he has brought to Gaza since last October.

The reality is that Biden’s weapons hold is only temporary and probably more meant as an authentic warning to Netanyahu who seemed to think he could keep talking tough while ignoring the US and the many nations around the world who have long supported Israel.

There can be no security and no victory over Hamas so long as Netanyahu remains in office

To be clear, I’ve lived in Israel and returning is an active possibility. I’m a strong fervent and supporter of Israel. But only Netanyahu could’ve lost the world’s empathy after 10/7. Only Netanyahu could have led me to finally acknowledge that conditions on select military aid would be the only alternative and way to force Netanyahu to pause and think…if even a little.

Only Netanyahu could’ve forced Biden, long a very strong and ardent supporter of Israel, to temporarily hold specific offensive weapons. Netanyahu is not a fool and certainly should have seen this coming. Or maybe he thought he could continue to push his scam on the US. If so, he made a serious error on behalf of Israel who is not otherwise lacking for firepower. But Israel also does not need more 2,000lb bombs under Netanyahu’s control for use in and on Rafah.

I support Biden’s decision and hope Netanyahu realizes not to push Biden any further. The problem is not remotely Biden. The problem for Israel is Netanyahu.

Israel is not at any risk if it doesn’t carpet bomb Rafah as it has other areas of Gaza. Netanyahu is less operating for Israel’s future but much more for himself; to keep his extremist coalition with Smotrich and Ben Gvir placated with Death.

But, again, there is no chance for victory and Hamas’ defeat until Netanyahu resigns and takes his coalition with him

Netanyahu’s disconnect and destruction of Gaza is losing the war, and maybe the battle, too, while profoundly compromising Israel and keeping Hamas relevant. Frankly, I find Hamas being able to sit at the table and ‘negotiate’ prior to its unconditional surrender and release of every single hostage, both alive and dead, remarkable. Hamas’ representatives to these talks should be arrested as international war criminals on the spot.

I’d equate this process to the Allies having decided to ‘negotiate’ with Hitler in 1944. Only Netanyahu could have created these bizarre, violent and poorly controlled conditions for Israel. He could have shut down Hamas’ risk to Israel decades ago but chose to build it up instead based on terrible hard Right politics rather than reality and lack of much foresight towards the future of Israel (and the Palestinians).

I have written for years that Netanyahu represents a bigger risk to Israel’s current security and future stability than Hamas, Iran and the PA combined. I hadn’t expected this to play out so desperately, dramatically, deadly or clearly.

Netanyahu, Ben Gvir and Smotrich are accountable and must resign.

About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD and have since had a wide range of experiences including a year plus in Israel. I've been a progressive organizer, writer/media spokesperson, coordinator and freelance. I am a PhD level Clinical Behavioral Analyst specializing in severe behavioral need in children (and adults) and their families. I write through no ‘agenda or special interest’ other than being a passionate supporter of Israel and Israel's future.
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