White House denies discussing prospects of Netanyahu departing office
18:54, Thursday, 02 November, 2023
The White House on Wednesday night denied a report according to which US President Joe Biden and his aides believe Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to remain Israel’s prime minister for much longer — and that the American leader has told him as much. “This description is false. This topic has not been discussed by the president and is not being discussed. Our focus is on the immediate crisis,” National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. A report in Politico Wednesday, citing two senior administration officials, said Biden had discussed the matter and had even spoken to Netanyahu on the matter during his wartime visit to Israel last month, advising the premier to consider lessons he’d want to relay to his successor. The two senior Biden officials said the administration even fears Netanyahu may view his own political future as tied to the war, influencing his actions and potentially encouraging him to escalate matters at some point. A third US official told the outlet that the expectation within the administration was that Netanyahu would only be able to remain in power for a few more months or perhaps until the first phase of Israel’s operation in Gaza ends. “There’s going to have to be a reckoning within Israeli society about what happened,” the official said.