Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeting US President Joe Biden on his arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on October 18, 2023.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images
President Joe Biden privately called Benjamin Netanyahu an “asshole” three times, per NBC News.Biden has tried to talk Netanyahu into agreeing to a cease-fire in Gaza, sources told the outlet.But the Israel prime minister is “giving him hell,” one source said, per the outlet.
President Joe Biden has taken to privately calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an “asshole,” NBC News reported, citing three sources.
NBC News, which did not name the sources, reported that Biden had called Netanyahu the pejorative term on at least three occasions.
According to the sources — all of whom wished to remain anonymous — Biden has been trying to get Israel to accept a cease-fire in Gaza.
But Netanyahu is “giving him hell” and is unmanageable, the sources told the outlet.
Israel launched military operations in Gaza after Hamas’ surprise terror attack on southern Israel on October 7, which killed about 1,200 people. Around 240 hostages were also taken, many of whom are still missing.
More than 28,000 Palestinians have been killed in the monthslong counterattack, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, with the vast majority of those deaths being civilians.
On Thursday, Biden publicly called Israel’s response in Gaza “over the top.”
Netanyahu responded to Biden’s criticism on ABC News “This Week” on Sunday, saying, “I don’t know exactly what he meant by that.”
During a phone call the same day, Biden again pressed Netanyahu to take Palestinian citizens’ safety into account and to abort a planned invasion of the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, according to the White House.
“A military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible and executable plan,” Biden said, per the read-out.
But Netanyahu has said Israel wants to finish the job it started.
After destroying three-quarters of Hamas’ militants — 18 out of 24 battalions — “we’re not going to leave the other six,” he said in an interview with Fox News.
When NBC News raised Biden’s private remarks about Netanyahu, a National Security Council spokesman said in a statement that the two leaders get along well.
“The president has been clear where he disagrees with Prime Minister Netanyahu, but this is a decadeslong relationship that is respectful in public and in private,” the spokesperson said.
Israel may soon benefit from $14 billion in US military aid that the Senate approved on Tuesday, along with aid to Ukraine and Taiwan, though the bill faces a tough fight in the House of Representatives.