Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet in NYC on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Sept. 20, 2023

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintained Sunday in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program that US President Joe Biden has been “very clear, very focused” in their conversations since the start of the October 7 war with Hamas.


Last week Special Counsel Robert Hur said in a report that President Joe Biden displayed “diminished capacities” during a probe of Biden’s mishandling of classified documents from his time as vice president in the Obama Administration.

Hur — who interviewed Biden on October 8 and October 9 — wrote in his report that Biden would not face criminal charges, describing him as “an elderly man with poor memory.”

Biden took to the podium that same night to angrily deny he is having memory problems.

When asked by anchor Jonathan Karl about that, Israel’s prime minister said he disagrees, telling the interviewer that he personally has found Biden to be “very clear, very focused” during at least a dozen extended phone conversations between the two since October 7, 2023, as well as a personal visit to Israel from Biden shortly after the war began

“Sometimes we had disagreements, but they were not born of a lack of understanding on his part or my part,” Netanyahu said when asked if Biden has shown “diminished” mental capacity. “So that’s what I can tell you − I haven’t seen it.”

Biden told reporters last Thursday night (ET) that he believes Israel’s operations in Gaza are “over the top” in a somewhat rambling news conference aimed at debunking the widely-held belief that he has indeed been displaying diminished mental capacity in recent months.

The US president was slated to speak with Netanyahu by phone later in the day on Sunday in the first such conversation the two men have had since January 19.

Netanyahu’s office issued a statement on Friday – following Biden’s comment — reiterating Israel’s goal of eliminating the Hamas terrorist organization that tortured and slaughtered more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians, on October 7, in addition to abducting 253 others.

“It is impossible to achieve the goal of the war of eliminating Hamas by leaving four Hamas battalions in Rafah,” the prime minister’s office said. “On the contrary, it is clear that intense activity in Rafah requires that civilians evacuate the areas of combat.

“Therefore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF and the security establishment to submit to the Cabinet a combined plan for evacuating the population and destroying the battalions.”

Israel’s political and defense echelon set three major goals for the Swords of Iron War against Hamas launched in response to the slaughter, and a subsequent declaration to repeat the atrocities over and over again, “until Israel no longer exists.”

The three goals of the war are the destruction of the military and administrative abilities of Hamas, the return of the hostages kidnapped and held in Gaza by the terrorists, and ensuring that Gaza can never again become a threat to the State of Israel.

Netanyahu has offered a “3-D” plan for the establishment of peace in Gaza: destruction of Hamas, demilitarization of the enclave with the Israel Defense Forces retaining freedom of movement to maintain Israel’s security, and deradicalization of its population to ensure Israel’s neighbors will no longer be a threat to the population of the Jewish State.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.