President Joe Biden’s frustrations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have led Biden to use vulgarities to describe Netanyahu in private, according to a new report.
According to NBC, on at least three recent occasions, Biden has called Netanyahu an “a**hole.”
NBC also reported that a Biden supporter it did not name said Biden teed off on Netanyahu during a recent fundraiser.
“He did say Bibi started off great, but ‘he’s been a pain in my a** lately’ or ‘he’s been killing me lately’– one of those things,” the person said, using a nickname for Netanyahu. “He goes, ‘But he’s doing a disservice … of late.’”
Other sources NBC cited without naming them said Biden calls Netanyahu “this guy.” Others said Biden said Israel’s leader has been “giving him hell” and has become impossible for Biden to deal with.
NBC said five people it spoke to said Biden believes Netanyahu is the major obstacle to forcing Israel to change its tactics in Gaza.
“He just feels like this is enough,” one of the people said of the views expressed by Biden. “It has to stop.”
A representative of the National Security Council said in a statement, “The president has been clear where he disagrees with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but this is a decades-long relationship that is respectful in public and in private.”
Biden last week said the current Israel assaults in Gaza are “over the top.”
Netanyahu responded to the comment Sunday on the ABC program “This Week,” according to ABC.
“Well, I appreciate President Biden’s support for Israel since the beginning of the war. I don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but put yourself in Israel’s shoes,” Netanyahu said.
“We were attacked. unprovoked attack, murderous attack, on October 7th, the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust. And let me tell you, I think we’ve responded in a way that goes after the terrorists and tries to minimize the civilian population in which the terrorists embed themselves and use them as human shields,” he said.
During the interview, Netanyahu mocked the concept of a separate Palestinian nation.
“Everybody who talks about a two-state solution — well, I ask, what do you mean by that? Should the Palestinians have an army? Should they have — can they sign a military pact with Iran? Can they import rockets from North Korea and other deadly weapons? Should they continue to educate their children for terrorism and annihilation? Of course, I say, of course not,” he said.
Netanyahu took the opportunity, when asked about Biden’s mental acuity, to avoid alienating the president.
“I have had more than a dozen phone conversations, extended phone conversations with President Biden. He also came on a visit to Israel during wartime, which is an historic first, and I found him very clear and very focused. We managed to agree on the war aims and many things. Sometimes we have disagreements, but they weren’t borne of a lack of understanding on his part or on my part. So that’s what I can tell you. So, I haven’t seen that,” he said.
Private differences remained papered over in a summary of a Sunday phone call between the two leaders posted on the White House website.
“The president reaffirmed our shared goal to see Hamas defeated and to ensure the long-term security of Israel and its people,” the readout said.
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