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Psaki: ‘Something Needs to Change’ as Biden’s Israel Strategy Appears Ineffective

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Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that President Biden’s current strategy on Israel is not working to change Netanyahu’s behavior or end the war.

When asked if Biden should more aggressively turn on Netanyahu, Psaki acknowledged that could backfire by allowing Netanyahu to gain support in Israel by claiming abandonment.

“If the president turns on Netanyahu aggressively, if the president says we’re going to stop sending weapons, then Netanyahu actually uses that to gain more power inside of Israel saying, see, we have been abandoned even by the United States, we have to fight on,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said.

Psaki said the administration clearly needs to change its approach but hopes they are discussing options in the White House.

Conditioning aid to Israel is being considered by some allies and senators, in Psaki’s view, and while that tactic should be considered, the question remains whether it would change Netanyahu’s actions or if more leverage is needed to alter the trajectory.

Psaki said, “That’s right. I think that’s important too. Clearly the strategy that the United States is implementing at this point is not working to change the behavior of Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is not working to end the war. So obviously, something has to change.”

She said, “And I think it’s pretty clear, they’re discussing that I think, in the White House, and I hope in the White House, in this situation, or at this point in time, the question is what that will be.”

Psaki asserted the status quo strategy has failed and a new approach is warranted.

Psaki added, “And there’s a number of allies of President Biden’s in the Senate, Democratic senators and others, who have been pretty outspoken about the need for conditioning aid, at least as a consideration. That’s obviously something that is being considered, should be considered. The question is, will that change the behavior, and what additional leverage needs to be put on Prime Minister Netanyahu at this point in time to change the trajectory?”

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