White House Cancels Meeting with Israel on Iran over Netanyahu Video

White House Cancels Meeting with Israel on Iran over Netanyahu Video

The White House has canceled a meeting with Israel to discuss the growing threat from Iran, retaliating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his claim Tuesday that the Biden administration was delaying weapons deliveries.

Israeli government spokesman David Mencer acknowledged in a briefing Wednesday that the meeting had been canceled, but said that U.S. ambassador to Israel Jack Lew had since reassured Netanyahu that the weapons in question were being delivered, and that Netanyahu had thanked him.

 

Earlier this week, there had been unconfirmed reports that the U.S. had assured the Israeli government that weapons deliveries would resume, after the Biden administration had paused some arms shipments in early May.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu posted a video online in which he said that the administration had been withholding some weapons, and he urged the White House to resume shipments. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said hours later that the administration did not know what Netanyahu was talking about.

Later Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration was holding up an $18 billion sale of 50 F-15 fighter jets to Israel. While the State Department denied that there was a policy of slowing down weapons sales to Israel, it added that there was a question of “timing” in weapons delivery.

Meanwhile, Axios reported that the White House canceled a high-level meeting Thursday with Israeli officials on Iran in response to Netanyahu’s claim.

It was unclear why the Biden administration had done so, since Iran threatens U.S. interests as well. However, Biden is in the midst of a tough reelection fight and faces pressure from left-wing Democrats to be tougher on Netanyahu.

Mencer pointed out that Netanyahu had “thanked the U.S. for its support in the past” first, but had also been speaking for “a country at war, a country facing Iran’s evil terror axis on seven different fronts, a country fighting for its very survival.

Asked whether the current dispute was a new rift in the rocky relations between U.S. President Joe Biden and Netanyahu, Mencer said that the partnership between the U.S. and Israel was strong, even though “there will be times in that partnership when issues come up that test that relationship.”

He added: “We do of course agree that the U.S. is our closest partner. We are facing the same enemies.”

Israel is currently facing an acute need for ammunition as it closes in on the last Hamas battalions in Gaza, and as it faces the imminent prospect of war in southern Lebanon against Hezbollah, another Iran-backed terror organization.

On Wednesday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, addressing a visiting delegation of members of the U.S. Congress, said: “I say repeatedly, we are utterly grateful to the United States of America for standing with us in this war. And I’m very grateful to the President of the United States for being here at the beginning of the war and sending a clear message on behalf of the American people. And we also respect tremendously the bipartisan support that crosses all divides and conflicts within American society. We are fighting here the battle of the free world against the Empire of Evil. That’s why together we must stay together.”

He added: “And if we have anything to discuss, it should be discussed quietly.”

Netanyahu is set to address a special joint session of Congress on July 24, which some Democrats plan to disrupt and protest.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Originally Posted on: https://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2024/06/19/white-house-cancels-meeting-with-israel-on-iran-over-netanyahu-video/
[By: Joel B. Pollak

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