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Netanyahu fumes as Gantz welcomed to US

The visit by Minister Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet, to Washington was not an initiative of the Biden administration, but the White House was only too happy to host him.
Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, talks to the media after a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the US Capitol, Washington, March 4, 2024.

TEL AVIV — Judging by reactions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage, few things have upset him and his family members more than war cabinet member Benny Gantz's trip to Washington this week.

For Netanyahu, deep embarrassment is likely compounded by fears of his flailing international legitimacy. Not only was Netanyahu's biggest political rival warmly received by high-level US administration officials, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister himself has not received an invitation to the White House since he returned to power 14 months ago. 

Miri Regev, transportation minister and one of Netanyahu's close confidants, said in an interview with Israel's public broadcaster KAN that Gantz's visit to the US capital amounts to "a form of subversion" by traveling without the prime minister's approval, while regional Cooperation Minister Dudi Amsalem, also from Netanyahu's Likud party, accused Gantz of being a "Trojan horse." 

Gantz, former head of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), joined the Netanyahu government in October to help run the war against Hamas. His centrist National Unity party has since been outpolling Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud more than two to one. 

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