Senior Israeli Official Embarrasses Biden with Correction

Senior Israeli Official Embarrasses Biden with Correction

If there was one area from which President Joe Biden didn’t need embarrassment at the moment, it’s Israel.

The Jewish state is supposed to be our ally, which doesn’t sit well with the far left. Biden pretends at this, but he doesn’t pretend very well — which doesn’t make Jewish Democrats or independent moderates happy. The unresolved state of the war between Israel and Hamas after the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks makes no one happy, especially as the conflict threatens to expand and destabilize the wider Middle East.

Thus, the president’s fortunes were looking up on Friday when he announced a surprise: The White House was crafting a three-part cease-fire plan that, supposedly, had Israel's support.

“For the past several months, my negotiators of foreign policy, intelligence community, and the like have been relentlessly focused not just on a cease-fire that would inevitably be fragile and temporary but on a durable end to the war,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

“That’s been the focus: a durable end to this war. One that brings all the hostages home, ensures Israel’s security, creates a better ‘day after’ in Gaza without Hamas in power, and sets the stage for a political settlement that provides a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he said.

“Now, after intensive diplomacy carried out by my team and my many conversations with leaders of Israel, Qatar, and Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, Israel has now offered — Israel has offered — a comprehensive new proposal.”

If only someone had informed Israel about the specifics of the agreement.

In remarks to NBC News reported Monday evening, a senior Israeli official stated that Biden’s description of the proposal was “not accurate” and that the U.S. president had outlined only a partial version of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government would accept.

“Israel has not changed its conditions to reach a permanent cease-fire,” the official said.

“That will only happen after our objectives are met including destroying Hamas’ military and governing capabilities,” the official said.

NBC News reported that the official “also said that while the White House described the plan as originating from Israel, it was actually a proposal put forward by mediators to which Israel had made amendments and changes.”

“It’s strange that they say it’s an Israeli proposal and at the same time that Israel needs to agree to it,” the official said.

Over the weekend, reports from Israel indicated that while Netanyahu’s government was on board with the framework of an agreement, it was less than enthusiastic about the deal.

Ophir Falk, Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy adviser, said it was “a deal we agreed to — it’s not a good deal, but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them.”

However, as NBC News noted, the idea of a permanent cease-fire was deemed a “nonstarter” by Netanyahu on Sunday. He also told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee that the version of the cease-fire Biden presented was only “partial” on Monday.

“The war will be stopped for the purpose of returning hostages and then we will proceed with further discussions,” the prime minister said, according to spokesman David Mencer.

“There are other details that the U.S. president did not present to the public.”

And, as the outlet reported, “another U.S. official also pushed back Monday, telling NBC News that Biden was merely describing the Israeli proposal but acknowledging the pressure Netanyahu would face from far-right officials.”

Let’s leave aside what qualifies as “far-right” in the NBC News vernacular. (Translation: Any Israeli politician or minister duly concerned about the Jewish state’s continued security and autonomy.) This is pretty damning stuff, evidence that Biden announced a cease-fire slam-dunk that was, at best, more like an adumbration sketched out in pencil by all sides, then filled in with details thoroughly untenable to Israel by the Biden administration.

The whole situation could best be summed up, in short, by this X post:

Another X user noted the “sheer perfidy” of the Biden administration claiming the plan was Israel’s idea and then effectively taking it to the U.N. Security Council in order to force what was supposedly Israel’s own plan down its throat:

And yet, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby didn’t seem to understand what the big deal was when reporters questioned him on the viability of the plan on Monday.

“The Israeli foreign minister himself acknowledged that this was the Israeli proposal,” he said.

When asked “what other gaps, as Netanyahu referred to them, are there between the U.S. and Israel,” Kirby responded, “I don’t know what gaps you’re referring to. I mean, I’ve heard different statements coming out of Israel.”

If that doesn’t say it all about the fantasy land in which Biden and his team continue to live — particularly when it comes to Gaza, where they’re very obviously trying to have their cake while eating it, too, and with predictable results — I don’t quite know what will.

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