Netanyahu Reacts to Biden Hot Mic Comment

Netanyahu (Credits: The Times of Israel)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded Monday to President Biden’s hot mic remark after the State of the Union address where he suggested he needs to have a meeting with the prime minister over the escalating situation in Gaza.

Netanyahu was asked Monday on “Fox & Friends” to respond to Biden’s comment that he planned to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with the prime minister about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. Fox News host Will Cain asked Netanyahu what a “come to Jesus meeting” means to him.

“I don’t know. I’m not familiar with the term, even though Jesus wasn’t born that far away from here,” Netanyahu responded. “I can tell you that if it means having a heart-to-heart conversation, we’ve had that plenty of times over the 40 years that I’ve known Joe Biden and over the 12 or 13 conversations that we’ve had since the beginning of the war.”

Netanyahu (Credits: The Times of Israel

On Thursday, Biden was caught on a hot mic during a conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who urged the president to keep pressure on Netanyahu over increasing humanitarian issues in Gaza.

Biden told Bennet that he said to Netanyahu, “You and I are going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting” before adding that he did not want him to repeat that to anyone.

When an aide appeared to tell him that his mic was still on, Biden said, “I’m on a hot mic here. Good. That’s good.”

Netanyahu said on “Fox & Friends” that Israel will not be “getting off the gas” in its Gaza attacks. He said that while Israel will try to minimize civilian casualties, its priority is to defeat Hamas, even if that means invading Rafah.

“Well, I’m telling you that we’re not getting off the gas. I’m telling you that we have to take care of Israel’s security in the future, and that requires eliminating the terrorist army.

That’s a prerequisite for victory. That victory is essential for us and the civilized world as we’re fighting these barbarians.

“And that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to defeat Hamas. We will do what is necessary to minimize civilian casualties and do the humanitarian aid we believe in. But we have to destroy this terrorist Nazi army. Otherwise, there’s no future for anyone in the Middle East,” he added later on.

Biden and Netanyahu (Credits: Axios)

Biden has been ramping up his public frustrations with Netanyahu in recent weeks as Israel plans to invade the Gaza city of Rafah, where more than a million civilians had fled to seek refuge from the war.

During his State of the Union address, he announced that the U.S. would set up a temporary pier near the territory to deliver more humanitarian supplies.

Biden said in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Saturday that Netanyahu was “hurting Israel more than helping.”

“What’s happening is he has a right to defend Israel, a right to continue to pursue Hamas,” Biden said. “But he must, he must, pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken.” Netanyahu responded to Biden’s remarks to Capehart in an interview with Politico.

“I don’t know exactly what the president meant, but if he meant by that that I’m pursuing private policies against the majority, the wish of the majority of Israelis, and that this is hurting the interests of Israel, then he’s wrong on both counts,” Netanyahu said.

The anticipated announcement comes as the administration is also slated to issue a rule requiring a greater share of new heavy-duty trucks to be electric. In 2032, it could result in 35 percent of medium-heavy duty truck sales and 40 percent of heavy-heavy duty truck sales being electric.

The rule is currently under White House review and is scheduled to be finished this month – though the schedule is not always followed.

The trucking industry has criticized that rule, including that it underestimates the costs and feasibility challenges of building up significant truck charging infrastructure—a complaint the anticipated strategy may aim to combat.

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