On day 119, Biden talked tough with Netanyahu while suffering not one—not two—but THREE “please clap” moments at the Coast Guard Academy.
Biden Pushes Netanyahu For “Significant De-Escalation”.
President Joe Biden scaled up the pressure on Israel in another discussion with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he “expected a significant de-escalation [Wednesday] on the path to a ceasefire.” This exchange came one day after Biden’s tarmac confrontation with Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Detroit, Michigan, which culminated in Biden heaping praise on Tlaib for her relentless attacks on him for U.S. policy toward Israel. Netanyahu immediately made a public response that while he appreciated “the support of the American president,” Israel was “determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.” At that time, Egyptian negotiators were reportedly awaiting Israel’s response to a ceasefire.
Though it may be the first real test of the Biden presidency, this is by no means the first episode of tension between Biden and Netanyahu, and the former taking office has heralded a significant deterioration in the relationship between the Israeli prime minister and the sitting U.S. president.
“We have had over 60 calls in the past week, from the President on down, with senior leaders in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and across the region. And we will continue to remain deeply engaged in intensive, quiet diplomacy to hold the current violence and find the way forward,” White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday, answering all follow-up questions by referring reporters to the latest Biden-Netanyahu readout.
Biden’s Coast Guard Speech An Embarrassment For All.
The commander in chief of the armed forces grew irritated with his audience Wednesday when his one-liners at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement failed to draw laughter and applause.
“You can clap. Come on, man,” the president said a few minutes into his speech. A short while later: “You can clap. It’s okay.”
By the third time, after Biden uttered the cringeworthy misquote, “The Coast Guard is, quote, the hard nucleus around the Navy forms in times of war,” the rejoinder turned personal.
“You are a quiet—you’re a really dull class,” Biden said to the cadets. “I mean, come on, man. Is the sun getting to you? I would think you’d have an opportunity when I say that about the Navy to clap.”
The quote Biden intended to deliver—”The Coast Guard is that hard nucleus about which the Navy forms in time of war”—is a repeated refrain in presidential speeches to the Coast Guard, having also been used by President Ronald Reagan and President George W. Bush, to a more robust reception.
The president followed it up by touting some questionable benchmarks of readiness in time of war: “You understand in your bones that our diversity is one of the enduring advantages and inherent strengths to America,” Biden said. “You’re the most progressive, best-educated, least prejudiced, most open generation in American history.”
The U.S. military is diverse, progressive, and “open.” Please, no one tell our adversaries.