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Clyburn says he questioned Netanyahu's leadership to Biden

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Sunday revealed he has expressed his reservations about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to President Biden as Israel pushes forward with a brutal military campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

Pressed on CBS News’s “Face The Nation,” over whether Biden should continue or rethink his position on Netanyahu, Clyburn said, “Well, I’m not too sure that we know exactly what their relationship is with Netanyahu.”

“I’ve talked to the President about this. And, of course, he is not going to be public with everything he says to Netanyahu. But I know this. He feels about the way I feel when it comes to Netanyahu. He is… his leadership has not been good for Israel. We stand firmly with the people of Israel, but I’ve always had a real problem with Netanyahu and that continues to be today,” Clyburn said.

The Democratic lawmaker was further asked if Biden himself has a problem with Netanyahu, to which he maintained the president will “develop his own feelings,” about the situation.

CBS News chief election & campaign correspondent Robert Costa then asked Clyburn if Biden “agrees or disagrees” with his assessment.

“Well, he’s accepted my assessment. I have not asked him whether or not he agreed with me,” Clyburn responded, adding later, “I’ve seen it written that he has said to Netanyahu, some things that I would say to him, we’ll see what happens in the end.”

Reports have surfaced in recent weeks that Biden has grown increasingly frustrated with Netanyahu’s refusal to scale back Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

NBC News reported last week Biden has said Netanyahu is “giving him hell” as the White House tries to negotiate a pause in fighting with Palestinian militant group Hamas and negotiate a longer-term plan for peace in the Gaza Strip.

Despite the private frustration, the White House has generally offered steadfast support for Israel, a longtime ally of the U.S., following Hamas’s Oct. 7 surprise assault that killed about 1,200 people, including hundreds of civilians but it has expressed reservations with Netanyahu himself. The U.S recognizes Hamas as a terrorist group, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Biden and other White House officials have recently increased calls on Israel to prevent the killing of civilians in Gaza and allow more humanitarian aid in.

The Palestinian death toll in the enclave reached more than 28,000 since early October, including both civilians and Hamas fighters,  per The Associated Press, citing the Health Ministry in Gaza. 

Biden has yet to publicly express any significant change in U.S. policy when it comes to the war as Netanyahu continues to defend Israel’s response in Gaza even amid domestic pressure to negotiate the release of hostages still held by Hamas.

Source: The Hill

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