Israel update: War drums from Hezbollah, deception from White House

Israel update: War drums from Hezbollah, deception from White House

Israel update: War drums from Hezbollah, deception from White House

Delaying a shipment of arms and ammunition for Israel is the latest example of President Joe Biden’s questionable support for America’s most significant Middle East ally. It comes as the situation in Israel remains dire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims Biden’s withholding of such key supplies has prolonged the war with Hamas while tensions continue to worsen between Israel and its greater threat from the north, Hezbollah, in Lebanon.

Netanyahu drew weird looks from the White House, and criticism from some in his government, after blasting the Biden administration in a social media post Tuesday.

The Times of Israel reports that Netanyahu said, recounting his recent talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “it’s inconceivable that in the past few months, the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions to Israel.

"Sec. Blinken assured me that the administration is working day and night to remove these bottlenecks," Netanyahu stated. "I certainly hope that’s the case. That should be the case.”

The White House dismissed Netanyahu’s claims, though it cancelled a high-level meeting between officials from both countries to discuss Iran, Axios reported. The meeting had been scheduled for today, Thursday.

White House gives a Sgt. Schulz response

The White House response made Netanyahu look like the mentally affected leader that it claims Biden is not as social media videos circulate about the U.S. President’s public gaffes.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about. We just don’t,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said of Netanyahu's claims. 

Glick, Caroline Glick

Caroline Glick, senior contributing editor for The Jewish News Syndicate, said on Washington Watch Wednesday that since Netanyahu posted his commentary, the Biden administration has released a key shipment of weapons to Israel.

The White House response contradicts a report by Axios.com in early May in which two Israeli officials confirmed the administration was withholding a shipment of ammunition.

Even Blinken, in his response to Netanyahu’s video, confirmed that the U.S. has been withholding a shipment.

“We are continuing to review one shipment that President Biden has talked about with regard to 2000-pound bombs because of our concerns about their use in a densely populated area like Rafah. That remains under review,” Blinken said in The Times of Israel report.

Biden spoke openly about the shipment in early May.

Glick said the U.S. was withholding a shipment of JDAM bombs – Joint Direct Attack Munition – used for precision targeting.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu wouldn't have given that message if he didn't feel that it was absolutely necessary,” Glick told show host Tony Perkins.

“The Biden administration's response, which was really effectively to have a temper tantrum against the Prime Minister and insult him in just the most obnoxious ways, I think it speaks to the validity of what he was saying,” she said.

The administration was withholding the bombs out of concern for how they would be used in the Rafah offensive in Gaza, Glick said, confirming Blinken’s comments.

“They were accusing Israel of wrongly using them when we know that that's not true. Even the Pentagon said that that's not true, but all the same, that's what they said,” Glick said. “They use that as a justification for saying Netanyahu doesn't know what he's talking about, but they just acknowledged that he was telling the truth when they said we're only withholding this one shipment.”

One shipment does not mean one bomb. There are “thousands” of bombs within the one shipment that had been withheld, Glick said.

Glick said Netanyahu’s video had the desired effect, which was to "open a bottleneck" by exposing what was happening behind the scenes. 

"So, on the one hand, they acknowledged what he was telling the truth," Glick observed. "On the other hand, they said that he was lying. Then underneath it all, they actually were releasing extremely important shipments of arms that Israel requires." 

U.S. removes Ukraine weapons restrictions

The latest U.S-Israeli dust-up comes as the U.S. has loosened restrictions on how Ukraine can use U.S. weapons, including artillery, to attack targets hundreds of miles inside Russia.

It also threatens to leave Israel short of its full capability as its more dangerous war with a more powerful enemy, Hezbollah, looms.

All is not rosy on the home front for Netanyahu, either, who recently dissolved his war cabinet after two key members resigned because of disagreements with the direction of the war against Hamas.

These are dangerous days in the Holy Land, and Israel could use a stronger relationship with the U.S.

“The (Biden) administration is advancing a policy that opposes Israeli victory in this war. They're willing to allow Israel to defend itself, but the only way that we can defend ourselves is by going on offense and actually defeating our enemies.

“That’s something that the White House does not want to countenance, that it will not countenance, whether it's in relation to Hamas or it's in relation to Hezbollah,” Glick said.

More than 80,000 Israelis remain displaced from homes in the north because of daily rocket attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Civilian homes are targeted, and more than 1,000 have been destroyed, Glick said. It’s gone on for months.

“It’s not only that, it’s forest preserves, it’s agriculture and most important, from a military perspective, it’s strategic sites in Israel. Just yesterday Hezbollah released drone footage of pictures taken over Haifa, the gulf, the port, etc.,” Glick said.

Hezbollah chief threatens Cyprus

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah continued threatening rhetoric against Israel in a speech Wednesday.

Nasrallah threatened the nearby island of Cyprus – which currently has good relations with both Israel and Lebanon – should it make its airports and military bases available to Israel.

“That would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” Nasrallah said in a report by Lebanon news outlet Naharnet.

The amount of firepower aimed at Israel from Lebanon – more than 150,000 projectiles – rises to the level of a nuclear threat, Glick said.

“We’re looking at 3,000-4,000 missiles falling on Israel every day for weeks. This is a threat that rises to the level of a nuclear assault just without the nuclear aftershock,” she said.