Benjamin Netanyahu is using Joe Biden, and it could well cost Biden his presidency

There are many failures in the U.S. mainstream media’s coverage of the latest crisis in Israel/Palestine. But one of the greatest examples of malpractice is that the mainstream media continue to ignore the hard fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is using Joe Biden for his own selfish reasons, an unpleasant truth that could lure the U.S. into a larger Mideast war with Iran that will ultimately threaten Biden’s reelection.

Alon Pinkas is no extremist, but a former high-ranking Israeli diplomat. Here’s what he just wrote in Haaretz, the respected Israeli daily:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes a lengthy war in Gaza will alleviate criticism and keep him in power. More importantly, he believes it will allow him to spread the blame, shedding all personal responsibility for the October 7 devastation.

Even worse, Pinkas adds that:

. . . some in the Biden administration and Congress are beginning to think Netanyahu is trying to drag the Americans into a war with Iran. . . they believe a U.S. strike against Iran’s provocations would potentially turn Netanyahu’s abject debacle into some kind of strategic triumph.

This site has warned for years that Benjamin Netanyahu has plotted to instigate conflict between the U.S. and Iran. That’s why he enthusiastically encouraged Donald Trump to end the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2018, after he had already flown to Washington back in 2015 to address the U.S. Congress behind President Obama’s back to try and stop it from going into effect. Israel has conducted a secret, violent campaign against Iran for years, including assassinations and sabotage on Iranian soil. 

At no stage has the U.S. mainstream media reported on Netanyahu’s provocation campaign. Here’s just one example that appeared on this site, in April 2021, reacting to a New York Times editorial that endorsed the (apparently now dead) effort to revive the Iran nuclear deal:

Even veteran observers of the New York Times’s zeal to protect Israel’s reputation will be astonished at the paper’s latest whitewash. The paper just published a long, sensible editorial endorsing the U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal — without once mentioning Benjamin Netanyahu’s violent efforts to sabotage the agreement . . .

The word “Israel” did not appear even once in the editorial. . . . [it] said nothing about the months, actually years, of violent Israeli attacks [against Iran], including assassinations . . .

After October 7, Netanyahu’s motivation to distract with a larger war is greater than ever. He’s hated within Israel, including by members of his own party. Families of the Israeli hostages, and others, don’t hesitate to blame him for the current crisis, which many rate as even greater than the 1973 Yom Kippur War. This war is the only thing keeping him in office, and possibly out of prison for his various scandals.

But almost none of the hostility toward Netanyahu, nor his precarious political situation, is appearing in the U.S. press. Here, he’s still treated as the respected leader of a nation under siege.

Dana Bash’s pathetic November 12 interview with him on CNN was representative. She could have started by asking why he agreed to speak to her, and other U.S. media, although since October 7 he has refused interviews with every single Israeli outlet, even including the TV stations that normally act as his stooges. Instead, Bash looked like she was afraid of him. She let him hog the floor during nearly all of the 14:26 interview, as he continued talking over her feeble follow-up questions. 

Bash timidly accepted Netanyahu’s protestations that he is doing everything he can to free the 240 hostages who Hamas are holding in Gaza. But there is reporting that his government turned down earlier proposals for a partial deal; at the very least, she could have interrupted his self-justifying monologue to ask.

What’s worse, Netanyahu can apparently stay in power for the foreseeable future, even though he would likely lose if the opposition called a snap election. None of this means that a majority of the Israeli public actually favors ending the attack against Gaza right now. But Benjamin Netanyahu is more desperate than he’s ever been in his life. He feels that continuing the attacks will postpone his day of reckoning with the Israeli public, and might even clean some of the tarnish off of his reputation.

The Biden administration says it does not want a wider war. Former diplomat Pinkas believes the U.S. and Israel are set for “a collision course” over Gaza. Joe Biden and his advisers can count, and they recognize that U.S. public opinion is steadily turning against them; hundreds of employees in 40 different U.S. government agencies signed a protest letter, including even dozens in his own State Department.

But Netanyahu will resist. And the danger is that the mainstream U.S. media’s malpractice means that the American public will have no idea why the Biden-Netanyahu confrontation is happening. The pro-Israel lobby will defend Netanyahu, and the Republicans in Congress are already criticizing Biden for not standing behind Israel strongly enough. Biden could feel pressure to cosign Netanyahu’s increasingly provocative moves — in Gaza, against Iran, or even elsewhere.

The Democratic base is already turning against Joe Biden over his mishandling of the crisis. They won’t vote for Donald Trump, but they are already promising to stay home, or vote third-party. Meanwhile, Biden could be sacrificing a second term in a vain effort to save the reputation of a loathsome man. 

At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

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