Netanyahu offers response to Biden’s unintentional microphone comment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a response to President Biden’s recent hot mic remark. Following the State of the Union address, Biden had suggested the need for a meeting with Netanyahu to discuss the escalating situation in Gaza.

During an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Monday, Netanyahu was questioned about Biden’s statement regarding a planned “come to Jesus” meeting between them to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Host Will Cain asked the prime minister to explain his interpretation of a “come to Jesus meeting.”

“I’m not quite sure. Although Jesus was born not too far from here, I haven’t come across that term before,” Netanyahu replied. “What I can say is that Joe Biden and I have had numerous heart-to-heart conversations over the 40 years we’ve known each other, and we’ve had about 12 or 13 conversations since the start of the war.”

During a conversation with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on Thursday, President Biden was inadvertently recorded expressing the need to maintain pressure on Netanyahu regarding the escalating humanitarian concerns in Gaza.

During their conversation, Biden revealed to Bennet that he had a frank discussion with Netanyahu, using the phrase “you and I are going to have a come-to-Jesus meeting.” However, he made it clear to Bennet that he didn’t want this information to be shared with anyone else.

As an aide approached him, Biden was informed that his microphone was still active. In response, Biden acknowledged, “I’m on a hot mic here. Good. That’s good.”

During an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Netanyahu expressed Israel’s determination to continue its military operations in Gaza without hesitation. He emphasized that while efforts will be made to minimize harm to innocent civilians, the primary objective remains the defeat of Hamas. Netanyahu made it clear that Israel is prepared to take more aggressive measures, even if it entails launching an invasion of Rafah.

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“We are not backing down. Ensuring Israel’s security in the long run is our top priority, and that means eradicating the terrorist organization. It is a crucial step towards achieving victory. This victory is not just important for us, but for the entire civilized world in our battle against these extremists.”

Biden has expressed increasing frustration with Netanyahu publicly in recent weeks as Israel prepares to invade the Gaza city of Rafah, where over a million civilians have sought refuge from the ongoing war. In his State of the Union address, he declared that the U.S. would establish a temporary pier near the area to facilitate the delivery of additional humanitarian aid.

During an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Saturday, Biden expressed his belief that Netanyahu’s actions were doing more harm than good for Israel.

“What’s happening is that he has the right to defend Israel and continue to pursue Hamas,” Biden emphasized. “However, he must prioritize the innocent lives being lost as a result of these actions.”

In an interview with Politico, Netanyahu provided a response to Biden’s remarks to Capehart.

“I’m not entirely sure what the president intended, but if he was suggesting that I am implementing policies that go against the wishes of the majority of Israelis and harm Israel’s interests, then he is mistaken on both accounts,” Netanyahu responded.

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