US Ambassador Says US and Israel Don’t Have ‘Real Disagreements’

Ambassador Jack Lew downplayed Biden's warning about Rafah

The US ambassador to Israel has downplayed President Biden’s warning to Israel about its assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, saying that nothing has fundamentally changed in the US-Israel relationship and that the two countries don’t have “real disagreements.”

Biden said the US wouldn’t send heavy bombs to Israel if it launched a major attack on “population centers” in Rafah, a city that’s been a refuge for over one million civilians. Ambassador Jack Lew told Israel’s Channel 12 on Sunday that so far, the US has approved Israel’s operations in Rafah, which continue to escalate.

“What the president said was: He doesn’t think it’s a good idea to have a massive ground campaign in a heavily populated area. But he specifically said that 2,000-pound bombs shouldn’t be used in that setting,” Lew said.

“So before there is a decision on how to proceed, the president was clear in the interview he gave the other evening that what Israel’s done so far hasn’t crossed over into the area where our disagreements lie. I’m hoping we don’t end up with real disagreements,” he added.

Lew also downplayed the hold on one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel, noting the huge amount of support the US has provided for the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza since October 7.

“Just to be clear, we’re providing an enormous amount of aid. We have been since before October 7. It’s increased since October 7. And even this week, as everyone’s focusing on the decision to just delay, to hold one set of munitions, everything else keeps flowing,” Lew said. “I think it’s a mistake to think that anything has fundamentally changed in the relationship.”

When Biden made his warning about Rafah, he also vowed overall long-term military support for Israel wouldn’t change. Officials in his administration promised that Israel would get all of the $17 billion in new military aid that was recently authorized by Congress.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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