President Biden reportedly feels his Israel-Palestine mediation strategy has been vindicated, people who spoke with him told CNN.
Before a cease-fire began Friday, Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu multiple times over the phone, choosing to keep the specifics of their conversations private. It’s not clear whether the U.S. played a significant role in getting Israel and Hamas to agree to a temporary calm — Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN he believes the cease-fire mostly came about because the warring sides realized that continued fighting wasn’t in their best interest — but, regardless, the president still believes he handled the situation the right way.
Several administration officials reportedly privately dismissed calls from progressive Democrats urging Biden to issue a more forceful rebuke of Netanyahu’s actions, particularly deadly Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. The officials argued such a strategy would actually lead the prime minister to extend the violence. Either way, it sounds like those lawmakers never had much momentum since Biden doesn’t like to be challenged when it comes to foreign affairs, CNN reports. In this instance, he seems to have believed from the start that if he “hugged Israel close” and engaged the government behind the scenes, the conflict would wind down more swiftly.