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Additional Repercussions for Netanyahu as Senate Democrats Advocate for a Change in Leadership in Israel

Additional Repercussions for Netanyahu as Senate Democrats Advocate for a Change in Leadership in Israel
Credits: Politico

Senate Democrats have officially expressed dissatisfaction with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership. Although no senators explicitly called for his resignation, many highlighted significant issues with Netanyahu’s handling of the conflict with Hamas after the October terrorist attack.

These critiques came from lawmakers who are typically critical of Israeli governance and others who are more reserved, signaling a decline in Democratic confidence in Netanyahu. This sentiment persists despite the Biden administration and the White House proceeding cautiously in their approach.

Senator Debbie Stabenow, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, conveyed her anticipation for a time when Netanyahu is no longer the leader, stating, “I don’t think his leadership is what’s needed right now.”

Additional Repercussions for Netanyahu (Credits: Politico)

Senator Bernie Sanders criticized Netanyahu, expressing doubts about his leadership and accusing him of assembling a right-wing, extremist government to stay in power. Sanders also condemned Netanyahu’s actions in Gaza as inhumane.

Senate Armed Forces Chair Jack Reed argued that Netanyahu’s tenure has allowed Hamas to accumulate weapons and cited the prime minister’s pursuit of judicial reforms, along with looming personal corruption issues, as factors impeding his ability to govern. Reed highlighted the complexity introduced by Netanyahu’s personal issues, which he believes complicates the leadership of the nation.

While some senators refrained from delving into Israel’s domestic politics, they questioned Netanyahu’s handling of the ongoing conflict. Senator Tim Kaine criticized Netanyahu for making Israel less safe by disregarding the Palestine question and undermining the idea of a two-state solution. Despite acknowledging Israel’s right to choose its prime minister, Kaine expressed concerns about Netanyahu’s approach.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ben Cardin shifted the focus away from Netanyahu and emphasized the war effort itself, supporting its objectives. He stressed engagement in humanitarian needs and addressing the consequences of the war, including hostage situations.

A majority of the Senate Democratic conference, with the exception of two members, backed an amendment reiterating support for a two-state solution, countering Netanyahu’s recent rejection of this policy. Senator Chris Van Hollen proposed an amendment to condition aid to Israel, asserting that Netanyahu prioritizes his political ambitions over pursuing a durable peace.

Van Hollen accused Netanyahu of rebuffing requests from the U.S. president on critical measures such as reducing civilian casualties and increasing humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse added that Netanyahu is eroding his credibility at an astonishing rate and increasingly appearing as an obstacle to progress in the Middle East.

The collective sentiments expressed by Senate Democrats underscore a growing dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s leadership, reflecting concerns about his handling of the conflict and the impact on regional stability.

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