Biden's bizarre "Come to Jesus" comment about Netanyahu caught on hot mic

Washington DC - With Gaza's humanitarian crisis growing more dire and much of his electoral base, President Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic claiming that he was planning a "Come to Jesus meeting with" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Joe Biden (r.) said he plans to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his country's assault on Gaza.
President Joe Biden (r.) said he plans to have a "Come to Jesus" meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his country's assault on Gaza.  © Collage: REUTERS

In his State of the Union address Thursday, Biden announced that the US would build a temporary pier to bring aid into starving Gaza, days after the US military started airdropping food as Israel has paralyzed much of the land effort.

As Colorado Senator Michael Bennet urged the president to keep pressuring Israel, Biden responded: "I told him, 'Bibi,' – and don't repeat this – 'but you and I are going to have a Come to Jesus meeting.'"

An aide then stepped in to warn him that his microphone was still on.

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Despite the posturing, the administration has given short shrift to activist calls to use one of the most significant forms of US leverage – cutting military aid – and the 81-year-old told Congress that he remained a "lifelong supporter of Israel" second to none, even as warnings of a genocide in Gaza grow louder and louder.

Well over 30,000 people have been killed in the Israeli response to the October 7 Hamas attack, and mass starvation is threatening the strip, with children already dying of malnutrition.

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Airdrops of aid into Gaza accidentally killed five people on Friday when parachutes malfunctioned.
Airdrops of aid into Gaza accidentally killed five people on Friday when parachutes malfunctioned.  © REUTERS

Anti-war protesters lined the streets of Washington for Biden's speech and large swathes of his base, Arab-Americans in particular, have threatened to shun Biden in the November election.

In a letter this week, 37 Democratic lawmakers led by Representative Joaquin Castro urged the administration to use "every tool at your disposal" to ensure US weapons are not used in a potential Israeli ground invasion of Rafah, the southern city where some 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge.

Merissa Khurma, director of the Middle East program at the Wilson Center, said the US was making "last-resort attempts" to help Palestinians.

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"For anyone who has been watching photos and coverage of the harrowing situation on the ground, I think this was, again, an indication that the United States will have to step in if the Israelis are not listening," said Khurma, a former Jordanian official.

On Friday, at least five people were killed when parachutes malfunctioned during an airdrop that hit Palestinians waiting to collect the aid.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS

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