Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


White House Rips Up Meeting Plans with Israeli Officials After Getting Attacked for Withholding Weapons


By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

A reportedly angry White House canceled a high-level intelligence meeting with Israeli officials after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the Biden administration for withholding military aid.

Netanyahu said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “inconceivable” that the Biden administration was stonewalling military aid shipments to Israel, given Israeli forces’ ongoing war efforts against Hamas in Gaza. President Joe Biden’s top advisers were furious over Netanyahu’s claims and decided to scrap the Thursday meeting, which would have involved crucial intelligence discussions with the State Department, Pentagon, U.S. intelligence agencies and their Israeli counterparts, according to Axios.

Some Israeli officials were already on their way to Washington, D.C., when they heard the news, according to Axios. The decision to scrap the meeting was meant to send a punitive message to the Israeli government, two U.S. officials told Axios.

“This decision makes it clear that there are consequences for pulling such stunts,” one U.S. official told Axios.

Netanyahu claimed Tuesday that “for the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.” It was previously confirmed in May by Biden administration officials that one high payload munitions package was being put on hold over fears that it could be used in Gaza and have disproportionate effects on the civilian population.

But Netanyahu’s claims were met publicly with confusion from the White House. Behind closed doors, officials in Biden’s orbit were stunned and enraged by Netanyahu’s claims.

“We genuinely do not know what he is talking about,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.

The White House decided to take it a step further and tell the Israeli government that the Thursday meeting was not happening, which was relayed to Netanyahu by U.S. envoy Amos Hochstein in Israel on Tuesday, two Israeli officials briefed on the incident told Axios. Hochstein told Netanyahu that his claims were inaccurate and crossed a line with the Biden administration.

“The Americans are fuming. [Netanyahu’s] video made a lot of damage,” one senior Israeli official told Axios.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan with still meet with his Israeli counterpart, and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is scheduled for meetings in Washington next week, according to Axios.

The relationship between the Biden administration and the Israeli government — particularly with Biden and Netanyahu — has grown increasingly tense in recent months over disagreements with how the war in Gaza should be carried out. Biden has long pressured the Israelis to curtail their military operations and commit to a permanent ceasefire, but Netanyahu has said a ceasefire can only be reached once Hamas — which has refused multiple ceasefire deals itself — is fully defeated.

In phone calls, Biden and Netanyahu have openly aired their grievances and thoughts on the war. In some calls Biden appeared confused or upset with Netanyahu’s plans — in one call, Biden hung up the phone out of anger.

Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24. It is unclear whether he will meet with Biden in person while in Washington.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read More

Related Posts