Growing rift emerges between Biden and Obama amidst Israel-Hamas fallout

Report of a divide between former president Barak Obama and President Joe Biden over Israel’s a military assault on Gaza in 2014 has surfaced.
Photo submitted

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior
National Correspondent

Amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, an unexpected casualty has emerged: the relationship between President Joe Biden and his former boss, Barack Obama. Reports indicate a growing divide between the two political heavyweights who once served side by side in the White House.

NBC News revealed that during the early weeks of the Israel-Hamas war, Biden privately credited his unwavering public support for Israel and claimed initial success in influencing the Israeli government. Allegedly, Biden expressed that Obama and his closest aides had dismissed his advice, dating back to his vice presidential role in 2014, when Israel launched a military assault on Gaza.

Biden reportedly argued that Obama’s decision to publicly admonish Israel’s actions during the 2014 conflict instead of embracing them hindered any potential influence on the Israeli government. 

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates countered the claims, stating that Biden’s senior White House and national security advisers were unaware of such comments and found them inaccurate.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, defended Biden’s approach, stating, “The approach we’re taking now is working.”

However, Obama, who has maintained a low profile since leaving office, seemed to differ from Biden’s staunch support of Israel. Obama, in an interview on “Pod Save America,” expressed a nuanced perspective, acknowledging the complexity of the Israel-Palestine issue.

“If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean. That all of us are complicit to some degree,” Obama said, distinguishing between the Palestinian civilians and the militant group Hamas.

Obama’s comments, while not a direct swipe at Biden, contrast with the current administration’s unwavering support for Israel. Additionally, as Politico noted, Obama’s comments “buck the company line Democratic leaders have been using on this matter.” 

The outlet noted that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell that calls for a ceasefire “would be such a gift to Hamas because they would spend whatever time there was a ceasefire in effect rebuilding their armaments, creating stronger positions to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis.”

And former Speaker Nancy Pelosi similarly repeated the “gift for Hamas” line.

Despite this, the New York Times reported that more than 100 former members of the Obama and Biden administrations issued a letter on Nov. 17, praising Biden’s “moral clarity, courageous leadership, and staunch support of Israel.” The gesture aimed to defend Biden’s policies amid internal dissent within the administration.

And, as recently as last week, when the administration successfully negotiated a cease-fire agreement and Hamas began releasing hostages, including Americans, Biden was able to take a sort of victory lap because his policies appeared to have worked.

“The deal to pause the fighting in Gaza and facilitate the release of hostages has delivered meaningful results,” Biden stated, noting that nearly 100 hostages have been returned to their loved ones. “And the United States has led the international community to use this pause to accelerate the delivery of additional humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

“More than 200 trucks loaded with aid, including food, water, medicine, shelter supplies, fuel, and cooking gas, have entered Gaza each of the last few days. For the first time since this conflict began, aid reached northern Gaza. And yesterday, the United States airlifted more than 54,000 pounds of medical equipment and food aid to the humanitarian distribution center in Egypt—the first of three deliveries of critical supplies that will go to civilians in Gaza who need our help.”

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