Netanyahu Says Israel Will ‘Stand Alone’ If Needed as Biden Threatens to Hold Up Weapons Deliveries

    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: May 10, 2024 (3 weeks ago)

    Tensions between Israel and the United States have escalated following remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared that Israel is prepared to “stand alone” if necessary amid threats from the Biden administration to withhold weapons deliveries over concerns about Israeli military actions in the region. Netanyahu’s defiant stance underscores the deepening rift between the longtime allies, raising questions about the future of their strategic partnership and the implications for regional stability.

    The latest flare-up in US-Israel relations comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions in the Middle East, with Israel facing mounting criticism over its military operations in Gaza and the West Bank, which have resulted in civilian casualties and drawn condemnation from human rights organizations and international observers. The Biden administration, while reaffirming its commitment to Israel’s security, has expressed concerns about the proportionality and legality of Israel’s actions, prompting a reassessment of arms sales and military aid to the country.

    “We will not allow anyone to dictate to us how to defend ourselves and protect our citizens,” declares Prime Minister Netanyahu in a defiant address to the Israeli parliament. “Israel will stand alone if necessary to ensure the safety and security of our people. We will not be intimidated or coerced into compromising our sovereignty and independence.”

    Netanyahu’s remarks come amid reports that the Biden administration is considering delaying or suspending the delivery of advanced weaponry to Israel, including precision-guided munitions and air defense systems, pending a review of Israeli military operations and compliance with international law. The move reflects growing unease within the administration over Israel’s handling of the conflict with Palestinian militants and its impact on regional stability and US interests in the Middle East.

    “The United States remains committed to Israel’s security and right to self-defense, but we also have a responsibility to uphold our values and principles,” asserts White House Press Secretary Jane Smith. “We are closely monitoring the situation and assessing the implications of Israeli actions for regional stability and US interests. Any decisions regarding arms sales and military aid will be made in accordance with our commitment to promoting peace and security in the region.”

    The prospect of a potential rift between the United States and Israel has sparked concern among Israeli officials and supporters of the US-Israel alliance, who fear that a breakdown in relations could embolden Israel’s adversaries and undermine its ability to defend itself against security threats. Critics of the Biden administration’s approach argue that withholding weapons deliveries sends the wrong message to Israel’s enemies and risks undermining the country’s deterrence capabilities.

    “Israel is facing unprecedented security challenges from Iran and its proxies, as well as terrorist groups operating in the region,” remarks Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Cohen. “We cannot afford to have our hands tied or our capabilities compromised. The United States must stand by its commitment to Israel’s security and provide the necessary support to defend against emerging threats.”

    As tensions between Israel and the United States continue to simmer, the prospect of a potential rift between the longtime allies raises concerns about the future of their strategic partnership and the implications for regional stability in the Middle East. With both sides digging in their heels, the path forward remains uncertain, leaving observers to ponder the consequences of a possible rupture in one of the world’s most enduring and consequential alliances.