President Biden Declines Netanyahu’s Invite Amid Tensions

President Joe Biden declined an invitation from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for a “solidarity visit” in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas. 

This decision comes amid a strained relationship between the two leaders since Biden assumed office earlier this year.

The invitation was extended by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, but the White House National Security Council spokesperson, Adrienne Watson, responded by stating, “We have no new travel to announce,” as reported by The Times of Israel.

Biden’s decision to decline the invitation comes after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid Israel a visit last week in solidarity with the embattled nation.

The exact reasons behind Biden’s decision remain unknown at this time. 

The discord between the two leaders dates back to earlier this year when Biden rejected the traditional White House invitation for Netanyahu. Initially, his objections were tied to the prime minister’s proposed judicial reforms and concerns over the presence of far-right parties in Netanyahu’s coalition.

However, the situation appeared to shift when Israel’s ceremonial president, Isaac Herzog, visited the White House in July, the same month Netanyahu reportedly got an invitation from Biden.

Questions and criticism arose regarding the apparent snub, prompting Biden to reconsider, although he did not commit to a White House visit at that time.

In recent weeks, both sides have taken steps to ease tensions, as Netanyahu has expressed a willingness to seek compromise with the Israeli opposition on the issue of judicial reform, while Biden has publicly praised the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Amid these developments, Biden has been unwavering in his public support for Israel’s right to defend itself in the aftermath of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack on the nation that occurred last weekend, resulting in the tragic loss of over 1,400 lives, primarily civilians. 

“If the United States experienced what Israel has experienced, our response would be swift, decisive, and overwhelming,” Biden said, condemning the Hamas terrorist attack as a “violation of every code of human morality.” 

He further pointed out that Hamas’s stated purpose is to “kill Jews” and drew parallels to historical attempts at carrying out the “genocide of the Jewish people.”