Biden’s shifting support of Israel in his own words: from ‘unwavering’ to ‘over the top’ criticism

The Biden administration insists its support for Israel has not changed since Oct. 7, but Israeli officials and critics argue the decision to abstain from voting against a U.N. cease-fire resolution marks a clear shift in policy. 

‘The U.S. did not veto today the new text that calls for a cease-fire without the condition of releasing the abductees,’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. ‘This is a clear withdrawal from the U.S.’s consistent position in the Security Council since the beginning of the war.’

Following the vote, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the resolution is nonbinding, with ‘no impact at all on Israel and Israel’s ability to continue to go after Hamas,’ and a clear insistence that ‘it does not represent a change at all in our policy.’

Immediately following the Hamas massacre in Southern Israel, President Biden came out with his full-throated backing of Israel and Netanyahu, stating in no uncertain terms, ‘My administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.’

Biden continued to trumpet his full and unmoving support for Israel and any decision the country took regarding a response to the attack. Just days afterward, Biden said, ‘if the United States experienced what Israel is experiencing, our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming.’ 

‘As long as the United States stands — and we will stand forever — we will not let you ever be alone… We’ll walk beside you in those dark days, and we’ll walk beside you in the good days to come. And they will come,’ Biden promised during his visit to Israel a week after the attack. 

In the following weeks, Biden argued that ‘American leadership is what holds the world together. American alliances are what keep us, America, safe. American values are what make us a partner that other nations want to work with.’ He added, ‘To put all that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine, if we turn our backs on Israel, it’s just not worth it.’

As Israel’s assault on Hamas led to a high number of collateral casualties, President Biden remained firm in his support, seemingly dismissing the early reported numbers that the Gaza Health Ministry published (and some outlets around the world echoed without any caveat) and arguing he could not trust the numbers. The Gaza Health Ministry, as of March, has claimed that over 30,000 people have died in Gaza as a result of Israel’s operation. 

‘I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,’ Biden said on Oct. 25. ‘I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s the price of waging a war.’ 

Biden late in November praised Israel’s cooperation and ‘commitment’ to an extended pause while Hamas agreed to start releasing hostages — one day for every 10 hostages released. 

‘I appreciate the commitment that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government have made in supporting an extended pause to ensure this deal can be fully carried out and to ensure the provision of additional humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinian families in Gaza,’ Biden said in November. 

The deal only lasted about a week before fighting resumed, with each side claiming the other had broken the terms of the agreement and forced the conflict to resume. Arab nations and some Western allies grew increasingly critical of Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and some nations, such as South Africa and Ireland, started to call Israel’s operation a genocide. 

South Africa announced its plan to bring a case before the International Court of Justice, outright and legally accusing Israel of genocide as international opposition to Israel’s actions grew stronger and protests spread even in countries that remained supportive. 

In mid-December at a campaign reception, Biden admitted that Israel was ‘starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place,’ showing the first seeming crack in the previously unconditional support. 

Reports around the New Year indicated that Biden’s patience with Israel and Netanyahu had started to wear thin, with reports claiming the two leaders hadn’t spoken directly for nearly three weeks in December while Biden’s patience was ‘running out,’ one official told Axios at the time. 

The anti-Israel protests started to chip away at Biden, too, as he saw his approval ratings drop below 40% and he saw sizable ‘uncommitted’ votes in the Democratic Party primaries: Michigan reported 13% uncommitted, topped by Minnesota’s 19% and Hawaii’s 29%. Activists have linked these protests to Biden’s support of Israel and urged voters to keep casting ‘uncommitted’ votes when possible to pressure a cease-fire. 

In the run-up to those primaries, Biden said that Israel’s conduct in the Gaza Strip ‘has been over the top,’ leading him to start drawing a line in the sand over Israel’s desire to carry out a major operation in Rafah, regularly touted as the last major city in Gaza where significant numbers of Palestinian people have gathered. 

‘The major military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a credible plan for ensuring the safety and support of more than one million people sheltering there,’ Biden said at the White House. ‘They need to be protected.’

The dispute over Rafah and lack of U.S. support caused another seeming rift between Biden and Netanyahu, with the two leaders reportedly going an entire month without directly communicating — even though White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Kirby insisted the president regularly communicated with Israeli officials during that time. 

Biden started looking to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, insisting Israel start to do more to help the Palestinians despite arguments from Israeli officials that such aid ends up going to Hamas, who continue to leech off of the people despite the dire conditions of the territory.

‘In addition to expanding deliveries by land, as I said, we’re going to insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more routes to get more and more people the help they need. No excuses,’ Biden said on March 1. 

The latest rift, which started even before the U.S. abstained from voting on the U.N. Security Council cease-fire resolution, occurred after Biden was caught following his State of the Union address saying, ‘I told Bibi: ‘You and I are going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting.’’

When told he had been caught on a hot-mic moment, Biden said, ‘Good. That’s good.’ 

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report. 

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