Many Israelis feel 'betrayed' following Biden threat to withhold arms to defeat Hamas in Rafah

Amid Israel’s plan to clear the main remaining vestiges of Hamas, the Biden administration is being accused of handcuffing the Jewish state with the threat of a weapons embargo.

Many Israelis feel 'betrayed' following Biden threat to withhold arms to defeat Hamas in Rafah

JERUSALEM — After President Biden compared Hamas to the Nazis in a Holocaust remembrance day speech on Tuesday, his Israeli critics argue he is now backpedaling from his ironclad commitment to the Jewish state by delaying deliveries of vital precision weapons to Jerusalem.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are closing in on the last major bastion of Hamas terror in the city of Rafah in Gaza. Yet, Biden announced on Thursday that "I made it clear that if they go into Rafah, they have not gone into Rafah yet, they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem."

In what seemed like a backhanded response to Biden’s directive, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday during a ceremony ahead of Israel’s Memorial Day to remember the state’s fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism that, "I say from here to Israel’s enemies and its best friends: The State of Israel cannot be subdued — not the IDF, not the Defense Ministry, not the defense establishment, not the State of Israel. We will stand, we will achieve our goals, we will hit Hamas, we will destroy Hezbollah, and we will bring security."


Gallant added, "Whatever the cost, we will ensure the existence of the State of Israel and remember well the directive we signed just a week ago during the Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, the words ‘Never Again.’ For me, it’s not just a directive, it’s a work plan. This is how the defense establishment will work and this is how the IDF will work."

Biden’s remarks have caused spats within Israel’s charged political climate. Israeli President Isaac Herzog took firebrand National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to task for posting on X that "Hamas loves Biden." Ben Gvir used a heart emoji instead of the word love on his X feed. 

Herzog called Ben Gvir’s comment "irresponsible and insulting." 

Herzog added at the ceremony honoring the Allies' victory over Nazi Germany that it is "a notable opportunity to thank the State of Israel’s allies also today, and especially our greatest ally the United States of America. I would like to say thank you to President Biden who is a great friend of the State of Israel, and who has proved as much from the first day of the war."

Fox News Digital reached out to Israelis across the country for their views on Biden’s withdrawal of military arms.

Israeli academic Richard Landes, who lives in Jerusalem, told Fox News Digital that "Intentionally or not, the U.S. is pursuing a course dictated by Hamas. This is a massive cognitive war victory for Hamas, and it could not have happened without the media's compliance with the Palestinian media protocols demand that they manipulate western compassion's addiction to Palestinian suffering."


Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have intensified their warnings over the last few weeks that Israel should not enter Rafah due to the large number of civilians in the city. "I’ve made it clear to Bibi and the war cabinet: They’re not going to get our support, if in fact they go on these population centers," Biden said while invoking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname "Bibi."

Thousands of Hamas terrorists and its infamous leader, Yahya Sinwar, are holed up in Rafah — a city of over 1 million Palestinians — and the jihadi organization is using hostages, some of whom may be Americans, as human shields to deter an Israeli incursion. 

The IDF announced this week that it has operational control of the Rafah side crossing to Egypt.

The timing of Biden’s freeze on sending offensive weapons to Israel coincides with a Hamas rocket attack on Sunday that resulted in the murder of four soldiers near the Rafah crossing toward Kerem Shalom.

The Hamas attack also severely wounded three additional soldiers. An IDF spokesman said Hamas launched 14 mortars and rockets at IDF troops, and a residence in a Kibbutz was hit. 


Some Israelis believe, in addition to a number of American politicians, that Biden is pandering to the far-left and progressive base of the Democratic Party ahead of the November election with his decision to pull the plug on weapons delivery to Israel.

Chaim Noll, an Israeli author who lives in the southern region of Beersheva, told Fox News Digital about Biden that "he betrayed Israel. By cowardly backing away from Hamas because of a few votes. And it won't do him any good."

Caroline Glick, a former advisor to Netanyahu, echoed Noll’s comment. She posted on X the comment that "Israel has not been abandoned by America. It has been abandoned and betrayed by the Biden administration."

Dan Diker, the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told Fox News Digital that, "The Biden administration is punishing Israel by publicly threatening to cut off arms and ammunition, vital to Israel’s self-defense against this Iranian regime-backed jihadi Hamas-Palestinian jihad axis of terror, is actually undermining the United States’ vital interests in the region."


He said the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are "competing to assault the United States" via their "support for campus extremism and radicalism." 

Diker said "Hamas reads the American punishing rhetoric of Israel as a vindication of Hamas’ October 7 mass murder, rape, brutality and kidnapping of U.S. hostages, not only Israeli hostages, and this sends a very troubling signal to America’s allies throughout the region, beginning with Saudi Arabia."

Hamas murdered nearly 1,200 people on Oct. 7 in southern Israel, including over 30 Americans. A November hostage deal secured the freedom of more than 100 hostages in exchange for Israel’s release of dozens of Palestinian terrorists. 

Wim Kortenoeven, a former Dutch Member of Parliament who converted to Judaism and made aliyah and lives in Eli in the biblical heartland of Samaria with his family since 2019, told Fox News Digital that "Biden was never a friend. He has always been a political opportunist. And remember the exchange with Menachem Begin?"

Biden and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin famously clashed in 1982 over then-39-year-old Senator Biden’s threat to withhold aid to Israel. The 68-year-old Begin fired back at Biden, "Don't threaten us with cutting off aid to give up our principles. I'm not a Jew with trembling knees."

Begin reportedly continued that "I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid."

Kortenoeven said "Blinken is personally responsible for reversing the pro-Israel/pro-Jewish rights policy of Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo. He is a dedicated ‘Two-Stater’ and as such a declared opponent of the Jewish right to live in the Jewish heartland since 3.5 millennia: Judea and Samaria." Judea and Samaria is more commonly known as the West Bank.

Biden and Blinken argue that a two-state solution — where a Palestinian state coexists with Israel — will ensure the security of the Jewish state. 

Kortenoeven noted that "It is as sickening that Biden and Blinken are now doing exactly the same after the Iranian missile attack of April 14. They want to push a Palestinian state down Israel’s throat and effectively embolden Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the PLO, all of which are genocidal entities that want to destroy the Jewish State and massacre the Jews."

A Fox News Digital request to Netanyahu's office for comment was not answered by press time. 

Fox News' Yonat Friling contributed to this report from Jerusalem.

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