Biden-Bibi Phone Call: Biden ‘Expects’ Deescalation, and Netanyahu Vows To Continue Until ‘Goal’ Is Achieved
May 19, 2021 (EIRNS)—The readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.’s call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel this morning is short:
“President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today. The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States. The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant deescalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”
Clearly Netanyahu has other ideas. “I intend to continue this operation until its goal is achieved, until calm and safety are ensured for you, Israeli citizens,” he said in a statement following the phone call. He amplified his message in a largely closed-door briefing with dozens of foreign diplomats in Tel Aviv today. According to Al-Monitor’s report, Netanyahu told them:
“We’re not standing with a stopwatch. We are taking care of the operation’s objectives. Previous operations lasted a long time, so it is not possible to set a timeframe.” Nor did he rule out an escalation. Netanyahu said of Hamas, “you can either conquer them—and that’s always an open possibility—or you can deter them. And we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say, we don’t rule out anything.”
TASS quotes Israeli Channel 12 television reporting that, “the Israeli military and politicians share an opinion that there will be no ceasefire until Friday,” May 20.