US President Joe Biden and top aides have discussed the likelihood that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political days are numbered and the President has conveyed that sentiment to the Prime Minister in a recent conversation, Politico reported on Wednesday.
- The topic of Netanyahu’s short political shelf life has come up in recent White House meetings involving Biden, two senior administration officials told the website. That has included discussions that have taken place since Biden’s trip to Israel, where he met with Netanyahu.
Biden has gone so far as to suggest to Netanyahu that he should think about lessons he would share with his eventual successor, the two administration officials added.
A current US official and a former US official both confirmed that the administration believes Netanyahu has limited time left in office.
The current official said the expectation internally was that Netanyahu would likely last a matter of months, or at least until the early fighting phase of the military campaign in the Gaza Strip was over, though all four officials noted the sheer unpredictability of Israeli politics.
- “There’s going to have to be a reckoning within Israeli society about what happened,” said the official who, adding, “Ultimately, the buck stops on the Prime Minister’s desk.”
The two senior officials said that, during his recent trip to Israel, Biden privately urged Netanyahu to proceed cautiously and not widen the war.
- At one point during the trip, Biden advised Netanyahu to consider the scenario he was leaving for his successor — an implicit suggestion that Netanyahu might not be in power for the duration of what will likely be a lengthy conflict.
While Biden administration officials have offered public declarations of solidarity with the Israeli government during the current crisis, aides are also trying to get ahead of what Netanyahu’s downfall could mean for the future Israeli-US relationship, according to the report.
The report also noted that, with an eye toward the future, US officials are talking to Benny Gantz, a member of the current unity government; former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett; and opposition leader Yair Lapid.
Spokespeople for the State Department and the Israeli embassy in Washington declined to comment.
Source: Arutz Sheva