Biden’s Decades-Long Friendship with Netanyahu Faces a Reckoning Amid Gaza Conflict

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu: A Long Friendship Under Strain

A Decades-Long Bond:

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu have been friends for over 50 years, dating back to their days in politics.

Biden has repeatedly touted his personal relationship with Netanyahu as a key to influencing Israeli policy.

Despite their friendship, their relationship has been strained, particularly during the Obama administration due to differences in policy regarding Iran and settlements.

Biden’s Public Support for Israel:

In the aftermath of the recent Hamas attack on Israel, Biden publicly supported Israel and visited Tel Aviv to meet Netanyahu.

He avoided public criticism of Israel, even as other world leaders expressed concerns about the civilian casualties in Gaza.

Shifting Winds:

Recent pressure, including criticism from within his own party and warnings about a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, may have prompted a shift in Biden’s approach.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin both voiced concerns about the civilian suffering in Gaza.

A New Approach:

For the first time, Biden publicly criticized Netanyahu and his government, urging them to change course to maintain international support.

This move signals a potential shift from the “good cop/bad cop” approach where Biden offered support while his lieutenants delivered criticism.

Motivations for the Change:

Several possible motivations for Biden’s public criticism exist:

    • A genuine concern about the escalating death toll in Gaza.
    • A desire to remind Israel of the importance of international opinion.
    • A political calculation to appease younger voters more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

The Future of the Relationship:

It remains unclear whether Biden’s criticism will be a temporary measure or a permanent shift in his approach towards Israel.

The future of the Biden-Netanyahu friendship and its impact on US-Israeli relations remain to be seen.


This highlights the complex and evolving relationship between Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu, and sheds light on the possible motivations behind Biden’s recent public criticism of Israel.

It also raises questions about the future of US-Israeli relations and the role that personal relationships like Biden’s and Netanyahu’s play in international diplomacy.

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