On Sunday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the joy he shared with President Joe Biden in their phone conversation about little Avigail, 4, who has both Israeli and American citizenship and had just been released from Hamas captivity.
On November 24, at a press conference in the White Elephant hotel in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Biden mentioned the “Two American women and one four-year-old child, Abigail, who remains among those missing.”
It is obvious that the release of all the hostages, Israeli and foreign alike, is one thing about which Biden and Netanyahu agree. They don’t agree on much else.
Speaking to the press on Sunday night, Netanyahu said, “I also told President Biden that at the end of the outline, we will go to realizing our goals with full force: Eliminating Hamas, ensuring that Gaza will not go back to being what it was and – of course – releasing all of our hostages.
“After having been in Gaza today, where I met with our brave and heroic soldiers, reservists, and conscripts, with fire in their eyes, I am convinced that we will succeed in this mission – because we have no other choice.”
The White House statement Sunday night did not mention the continued fighting. It was all about how both leaders are caring for the wellbeing of the people of Gaza:
“The two leaders also discussed the pause in the fighting and surge in much-needed additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza. The Prime Minister thanked the President for his tireless efforts to help broker and fully implement this deal. The two leaders agreed that the work is not yet done and that they will continue working to secure the release of all hostages. The two leaders agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days.”
Nothing about heroic Israeli soldiers with fire in their eyes.
But Netanyahu’s message has also been shifting over time. On October 15, his war cabinet issued a short list of four priorities, in this descending order:
“The overthrow of Hamas’s rule and the destruction of its military capability; the removal of the threat of terrorism from the Gaza Strip to Israel; a maximum effort to resolve the hostage issue; and the protection of the country’s borders and its citizens.”
Between October 15 and last week, through a remarkably well-organized and well-funded campaign by the same people who gave Israel the Kaplan demonstrations to topple Bibi and the disruptions on the highways, in the airport, and in front of the homes of coalition members, the hostages rose from third to first place in Israel’s list of priorities for the war, and more often than not it is being listed above the need to eliminate Hamas and the future threat of terrorism.
President Biden has elevated a fifth issue to his top priority, which he noted in his White Elephant speech: “As we look to the future, we have to end this cycle of violence in the Middle East. We need to renew our resolve to pursue this two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can one-day live side by side in a two-state solution with an equal measure of freedom and dignity. Two states for two peoples. And it’s more important now than ever. Hamas unleashed this terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace.”
Make no mistake: Biden’s La-La Land notion of “Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace,” which ignores those numerous occasions when every Jewish attempt to make peace in Israel and earlier in Mandatory Palestine resulted in eruptions of Arab murderous riots that spilled rivers of Jewish blood – this Kumbaya nightmare is at the top of Biden’s priorities, right above releasing the hostages, and certainly above eliminating Hamas.
So far, Netanyahu has been able to politely overlook his American counterpart’s perilous delusions because Netanyahu is an expert at finding creative ways to help the 2-state solution die. But as those joyous, unified statements of a common goal and such drivel persist, Netanyahu and Israel’s right are likely to discover that just as Hamas has learned to play Israel expertly, so has the White House.