Looking for Likud Support, Netanyahu Says He’s the Only One Who Can Prevent a Palestinian State

Netanyahu also boasted that he knows how to handle pressure from the US

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political career is in peril due to his failure to prevent the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, the Israeli leader has been meeting with members of his Likud party to ensure continued support.

According to Israeli media, in these meetings, Netanyahu has sold himself as the only one who can prevent the creation of a Palestinian state and stand up to pressure from the Americans.

“I am the only one who will prevent a Palestinian state in Gaza and [the West Bank] after the war,” Netanyahu told Likud lawmakers, according to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster.

Netanyahu has come under fire from his political opponents over his previous strategy of helping prop up Hamas to prevent a Palestinian state. In a now-infamous quote from 2019, Netanyahu said anyone “who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas.”

Netanyahu continued, “This is part of our strategy – to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the West Bank… It’s impossible to reach an agreement with them … Everyone knows this, but we control the height of the flames.”

President Biden has said he wants to see effort toward a two-state solution if Israel is successful in rooting out Hamas, but the US has placed no conditions on its military support for the war. Biden and his top aides have also said Israel can’t control Gaza after the war, an idea Netanyahu publicly rejected.

According to The Times of Israel, Netanyahu also told Likud lawmakers that the US didn’t want Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and also didn’t want Israel to raid al-Shifa hospital in northern Gaza. He reportedly boasted of defying the US’s wishes.

Two US officials speaking to the Times challenged Netanyahu’s narrative, saying the US didn’t actually oppose the Israeli military actions but just expressed concerns about the protection of civilians. The US has continued to provide full military support for Israel despite the massive civilian casualties.

According to Kan, Netanyahu told Likud backbenchers, referring to Knesset members who don’t hold prominent positions, that he has “known Biden for more than 40 years” and knows “how to speak to the American public.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.