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Mon, May

'Disgusting': Israeli Minister Rebuked for 'Hamas ❤︎ Biden' Post

WORLD WATCH

ISRAEL HAMAS - Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir was sharply condemned on Thursday for lashing out at U.S. President Joe Biden after the American leader threatened to withhold weapons if Israel scales up its ongoing assault on Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the war with or without outside assistance, Ben-Gvir—who rose to his current post despite being convicted of incitement to racism and supporting an anti-Arab group that Israel classifies as a terrorist organization—took aim at the U.S. president on social media, writing, "Hamas ❤️ Biden."

Hamas—which Ben-Gvir and Biden's governments consider a terrorist group—has governed Gaza for nearly two decades and led the October 7 attack that sparked Israel's retaliatory and "plausibly" genocidal war on the Palestinian enclave. In just seven months, Israeli forces have killed at least 34,904 Palestinians there, wounded another 78,514, destroyed civilian infrastructure, and repeatedly displaced survivors.

Once Biden threatened to cut off weapons to Israel on Wednesday, reporter Emma Vigeland predicted responses along the lines of, "Biden is an antisemite who loves Hamas." After Ben-Gvir's post on X, formerly Twitter, she said, "Update: This is not even a parody tweet anymore."

Journalist Mehdi Hasan also seemed unsurprised by the news, writing: "Yep, now Biden is Hamas too. Can't make this stuff up."

Biden has faced growing backlash from critics of the war for not already cutting off U.S. arms to Israel—particularly given that he previously called an attack on Rafah a "red line," which didn't stop Israeli tanks and warplanes from targetingthe city overwhelmed by refugees this week.

Some of the responses to Ben-Gvir's post stressed the U.S. president's strident support for the Israeli war since October.

"Biden has staked a good chunk of his reelection chances on his absolute support for Israel's genocidal campaign in Gaza," noted foreign policy analyst and writer Mitchell Plitnick. "Israel has responded by continually pushing the envelope, and when Biden, far too late, pushes back just a little, this is how the far right responds. There is no appeasing these murderous fanatics."

Attorney Aaron Regunberg similarly said that "Israel's national security minister posted this because Biden, who's (disastrously) done everything the Israeli government's asked of him, took the first step towards a more rational policy. This is not how a [government] that wants to maintain a 'special relationship' with the U.S. acts."

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed out that "this disgusting tweet comes from Israel's extremist national security minister, who was convicted by an Israeli court of racist incitement and supporting terrorism."

"This is the government waging war against the entire Palestinian people. We cannot be complicit in Ben-Gvir's war," added Sanders, who also spoke on the Senate floor and put out a statement about Rafah.

"President Biden is right," Sanders said in the statement. "The United States cannot continue to provide more bombs and artillery shells to support Netanyahu's disastrous and inhumane war policies."

(Jessica Corbett is a senior editor and staff writer for Common Dreams where this article was first published.)

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