Last night, Vice President Joe Biden tore into Benjamin Netanyahu by saying Israeli Prime Minister is leading the country “in the wrong direction.” The comments were made hours after a bus bombing in Jerusalem wounded at least 21 people.
“I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said.
Biden did single out Palestinian leaders, including Mahmoud Abbas, for declining to condemn specific acts of terrorism carried out against Israelis. The vice president said he didn’t know whether Monday’s explosion was a terrorist attack, but added that the U.S. condemns “misguided cowards” who resort to violence.
Israeli officials have called the bombing of an empty bus parked near other vehicles a terror attack, with Netanyahu linking it to the ongoing wave of attacks in which Palestinians have targeted Israelis in Jerusalem.
The fact that the bulk of the Biden’s criticism was reserved for Netanyahu reflected diminishing patience within the White House as President Obama’s term nears an end. Tension between the longtime allies has been compounded by deep disagreements over Iran and a strained relationship between the two leaders.
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