Benjamin Netanyahu speaks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on May 6, 2024.

(Photo: Benjamin Netanyahu)

Netanyahu Says Israel 'Will Stand Alone' as Biden Threatens to Withhold Arms

"If we have to, we will fight with our nails," the Israeli prime minister said in response to the American leader's warning against a major Rafah invasion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday responded to U.S. President Joe Biden's threat to withhold shipments of arms used by the Israel Defense Forces to kill thousands of Palestinian civilians by declaring that his far-right government would continue its assault on Gaza with or without American help.

"If we are forced to stand alone, we will stand alone," Netanyahu said in a video ahead of next week's anniversary of Israel's establishment in 1948, largely via the ethnic cleansing of Palestine's Arabs. "I have already said that if we have to, we will fight with our nails."

Echoing Netanyahu, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the IDF already has the "necessary weapons" to wage war, "including in Rafah," where over 1 million people forcibly displaced from other parts of Gaza are sheltering alongside around 280,000 local residents, all of them bracing for a full-scale Israeli invasion.

The prime minister's remarks came a day after Biden threatened to withhold bombs and artillery shells from Israel if it launches a major invasion of Rafah—even as critics noted that Israeli forces have already attacked and entered the city. Some accused Biden of walking back a previous "red line" warning against any assault on Rafah.

Common Dreamsreported Tuesday that Biden is delaying shipments of two types of bombs to Israel in order to send a message that the president's tolerance for what he called Israel's "indiscriminate bombing" of Gazan civilians is waning.

However, observers noted that Biden recently signed off on $14.3 billion in emergency armed assistance for Israel atop the nearly $4 billion the key ally already receives from Washington each year. The Biden administration has quietly approved more than 100 arms sales to Israel since October 7, while pushing for billions of dollars worth of additional deals, including advanced fighter jets.

Biden has also repeatedly bypassed Congress to fast-track weapons transfers to Israel as it wages what the International Court of Justice in January called a "plausibly" genocidal war that's killed, injured, or left missing more than 124,000 Palestinians—mostly women and children—since October 7.

The U.S. administration also provides diplomatic cover for Israel's policies and practices in the form of United Nations Security Council vetoes.

Despite all this support—which comes as most election-year voters supporting Biden's Democratic Party believe Israel is committing genocide in Gaza—Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Thursday tweeted, "Hamas ❤️ Biden."

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