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Netanyahu’s arms complaints strain US ties, leave Israel exposed to Hezbollah

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attack against the Biden administration for allegedly withholding arms deliveries exposes Israel’s vulnerability right now when tensions with Hezbollah run high.
A picture taken on February 12, 2019, shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) discussing with soldiers as he stands near a naval Iron Dome defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, installed on a Sa'ar 5 Lahav Class corvette of the Israeli Navy fleet, in the northern port of Haifa. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — Frustration within the Biden administration over Benjamin Netanyahu reached a peak this week, after the Israeli prime minister's accusations that the United States has been deliberately withholding the delivery of arms to Israel. 

Judging by the latest statements of senior US officials, the Biden administration is at a loss. It has used up all the tools in its considerable arsenal — embracing Netanyahu, sympathizing, wheedling, threatening, all to no avail. 

"In the past, you could work with him," a former senior administration official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. "He had his tricks and shticks, but he worked within a framework of rules. You could understand the goal and the narrative. Today, there is nothing. He has become completely unpredictable, and I'm not sure that he himself can predict his moves." 

This assessment was prompted by a short English-language video clip Netanyahu posted on Tuesday blasting the administration for allegedly blocking arms shipments to Israel. It followed his meeting with visiting Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in which he reportedly complained that Washington was emboldening Israel’s enemies by withholding those shipments and preventing a speedy end to Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. 

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