President Joe Biden’s remark Thursday that Israel’s response to Hamas terror in Gaza has been “over the top” has caused widespread anxiety in Israel, as Israelis begin to suspect that Biden is no longer as supportive of their fight as he once was.
Biden made the remark in a testy exchange with reporters during a press conference in which he responded to claims by Special Counsel Robert Hur that Biden’s memory was failing. (Hur declined to prosecute Biden for mishandling classified documents.)
The U.S. media noted Biden’s statement because of the fact that the president — in the course of defending his mental acuity — confused Egypt with Mexico. But in Israel, the news — which was the top headline for much of Friday — was “over the top.”
Biden said (via New York Times)
I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been, um, over the top. I think that, uh, as you know, initially the president of Mexico, El-Sisi, did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate. I talked to Bibi to open the gate on the Israeli side. I’ve been pushing really hard, really hard, to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza. There are a lot of innocent people who are starving. There are a lot of innocent people who are in trouble and dying. And it’s got to stop.
It was not clear precisely what Biden meant by Israel’s actions being “over the top.”
The president’s remarks came just a day after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed, without evidence, that Israel had been “dehumaniz[ing]” Palestinians. Israelis fear a loss of American support, and worry that Biden will push them into a ceasefire deal that will allow Hamas to remain armed and in power, thereby allowing it to attack Israel again, as it has promised to do.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.