Bibi’s Rant: Israel Isn’t a “Vassal State” of the U.S.

Peloni:  With these words Bibi has given the Old Concepzia its final notice, and as Israel continues to act on these words, the Old Conceptzia will fade into memory as Israel sheds both the image and implications of being America’s vassal state.

Barak Ravid | Axios | May 15, 2024

A day after President Biden warned Israel that a major attack on Rafah would cross a “red line” for U.S. support, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a rant during a meeting with his security cabinet.

  • We are not a vassal state of the United States!” he declared, according to three people with knowledge of his remarks, including one of Netanyahu’s aides.

Why it matters: Netanyahu’s hot reaction last Thursday reflected his combative mood at a time when Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has strained its relationship with the U.S.

Driving the news: The tension began escalating two weeks ago, after Biden put a hold on 3,500 U.S. bombs that were on a ship about to depart for Israel.

  • It was a shot across the bow to show Netanyahu how concerned Biden remains about the prime minister continuing to say he’s planning to order an invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced Palestinians have taken shelter.
  • Biden, with an eye on his re-election campaign, is under increasing pressure from progressive Democrats to end the war in Gaza that began after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu and his close confidant Ron Dermer, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, were surprised by Biden’s decision on the weapons shipment and his public ultimatum, two Israeli sources with knowledge of the issue told Axios.

  • Biden and other senior U.S. officials privately had told Netanyahu and Dermer several times recently that such a move could happen if they continued pushing toward an invasion of Rafah, a senior U.S. official said.
  • But Dermer, who was Israel’s ambassador to Washington for eight years during the Obama and Trump administrations, told Netanyahu that Biden wouldn’t dare take such a step, one Israeli source said.

During his long rant at the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu compared his clash with Biden over Rafah to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, declaring independence in 1948 over the objections of then-U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, two sources with knowledge of the meeting said.

  • Netanyahu also noted his speech to Congress in March 2015, when he voiced his opposition to President Obama’s efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.
  • That speech led to a deep rift in U.S.-Israel relations and angered many Democrats.
  • An aide to Netanyahu recounted the prime minister telling the cabinet that he knew how to push back against U.S. pressure and would do it again if necessary.
  • “When is comes to threats to our security we will do whatever it takes,” the aide recalled Netanyahu telling the cabinet.

Between the lines: Netanyahu’s “vassal state” remark echoed comments by then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin in a 1982 meeting with Sam Lewis, the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

  • Back then, Begin was fuming about President Reagan’s decision to freeze $300 million in U.S. military aid to Israel over the Israeli government’s annexation of the Golan Heights.

State of play: Senior U.S. and Israeli officials said there is a deep distrust between Biden and his close advisers and Netanyahu and Dermer, especially regarding Rafah.

  • A senior Israeli official said much of the engagement between Biden’s team and Israel’s government over Rafah during the last two weeks has gone through other Israeli channels, such as defense minister Yoav Gallant.
  • Gallant, who speaks regularly with Secretary of State Tony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk, is trying to make adjustments in the operation in Rafah “to minimize friction with the Biden administration,” the senior Israeli official said.

So far, it appears to be working. Israel’s military is operating in Rafah in a targeted way without a massive ground invasion, U.S. officials say.

  • Senior Israeli officials say that although the bombs shipment is still on hold, other U.S. weapons shipments continue. One significant U.S. shipment is expected to depart for Israel this week.

What to watch: Sullivan’s planned visit to Israel on Sunday will be an effort to move past the rift and reach an understanding about Rafah.

  • A few days after he returns to Washington, a senior Israeli delegation will come to the White House for another meeting about Rafah.
  • At least until then, Israel isn’t expected to expand its operation there.


May 16, 2024 | 3 Comments »

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  1. I found this Spot on* satirical piece about Brexit from 2017 that applies just as well here except for the inaccurate reference to Corbyn who was aligned with both Globalist and Islamist Imperialism as well as being mainly a raving antisemite and terrorist sympathizer.

    * Spot on – I reserve my God Given right to culturally appropriate any thing I like from anywhere, modifying, synthesizing, and mixing and matching anything I want from anywhere – “smorgasbord style” as a hostile person put it 😀 – and anyone who doesn’t like it should know where they can jump. Or in the words of the sages: “Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah, Nyah.” (and that’s not just because I’s** from NY) 😀

    Dear Britain, Congratulations on your independence. Here’s what happens next. –The Global South.

    “Here Comes The Judge – Pigmeat Markham (1968)” (actually, he says, “I am. ***”)

    and googling for that i found:

    “Here Comes The Judge | Sammy Davis Jr | Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In”
    (“Sammy Davis and the original meme, Here Comes The Judge from Season 4 of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.”)

    *** As in “I am that I am.”
    “Moses · David Steinberg” – (LP – “David Steinberg disguised as a Normal Person. 1971).

  2. Same old question: why is Biden and cohorts so disturbed about IDF taking over Rafah? They must have some powerful reason. It cannot be simply concern over the local population. That is too easy to dispel.

    Of course everybody knows that those smuggling tunnels have had some heavy duty use in the past months and that probably the IDF won’t find any hostages or Hamas leaders when it has taken over everything. They’ve all been smuggled out by now with, perhaps, a few corpses that can be bargained for.

    That Egypt is concerned is quite clear: they stand to lose a lot of undeclared income when the tunnels are closed, not to speak of the enormous payments, from those who have the means, to be “allowed” to pass through Egyptian territory and leave Gaza behind them.

    The other interesting component here is the EU, who are threatening to make life even more difficult for the Israelis somehow. It sounds a lot like an echo chamber of the WEF, which includes, of course, O’Biden.

    Netanyahu is doing the right thing of disregarding all the noise and trying to get the war accomplished. All those screaming to stop the war do not have Israel’s best interests in mind.

    If this tactic of departing from once conquered ground to let the Hamas fighters back in is intended to find those fighters more easily may be the best thing he can do. If not, it is still a step towards the end of the war.

    All the calls for a plan for the day after are simply calls for suggestions that can be endlessly argued about. At the end of the war, the remaining so-called Palestinians will have to reach some kind of plan themselves. They will not accept any “Diktat” from anyone else in the world, especially not from Israel.

    The final big point to be settled is the continuing campaign against Netanyahu.
    The IDF top brass keep calling for alternative solutions they know cannot work in the light of any future day. Their only intention is to get rid of Netanyahu by any means. He is, unfortunately from their point of view, the elected prime minister and as long as he has a majority in the Knesset, the only way to get rid of him is by his sudden death.

    Just by the way, the top brass have a lot to answer for regarding October 7, and the only reason they are still “serving” is because we have a war going on. If Netanyahu has to answer to the same degree remains to be seen. We should not forget that the top brass were up in arms before October 7 due to the proposed justice reform, although I can’t still figure out why.