White House frets over upcoming Netanyahu address to Congress

‘No one knows what he’s going to say,’ lament Biden administration officials, as White House fears Netanyahu could attack the president’s handling of the Gaza war in difficult election year.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The Biden administration is increasingly concerned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could use his upcoming address to a special joint session of Congress to criticize the White House’s policies vis-a-vis the ongoing Gaza war, hurting the president’s chances of getting reelected in an already difficult election year.

On Saturday, Politico cited senior White House officials who expressed anxiety over Netanyahu’s July 24th address to Congress, following last Tuesday’s video statement in which the premier openly criticized the Biden administration for withholding military aid from Israel in war time.

“No one knows what he’s going to say.” fretted on senior Biden administration official, while another lamented that Netanyahu’s video statement “was not helpful at all.”

“And he could make it far worse up there in front of Congress.”

Biden currently faces an uphill battle against Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election.

According to the RealClearPolitics rolling average of polls, Biden currently has a net approval rating of negative 15.1 points, with 40.5% of respondents approving of his job performance.

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In head-to-head matchups, Trump leads by an average of 0.9 points, but in a five-way race, leads by an average of 1.9 points.

Worse still, Biden is trailing Trump in virtually all battleground states, including every state he flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2020.

The Biden White House has sought to bring back Arab-Americans and progressive voters alienated by the administration’s declarations of support for Israel in the immediate aftermath of the October 7th massacres, while at the time retaining pro-Israel Democrats in a delicate balancing act.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu criticized the Biden administration even more forcefully, accusing the White House of imposing a “dramatic decrease” in arms sales to Israel during the Gaza war.

“Four months ago, there was a dramatic decrease in the munitions coming to Israel from the US. For long weeks, we turned to our American friends and requested that the shipments be expedited.”

“After months in which there was no change in this situation, I decided to give this public expression. We did so out of years of experience and the knowledge that this step was vital to opening the bottleneck.”