Netanyahu Reportedly Rebukes War Cabinet Minister For Making US Trip ‘Without Authorization’

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John Oyewale Contributor
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized his rival and war cabinet member Benny Gantz for traveling to the US to meet with officials without authorization, according to reports.

“The prime minister made it clear to Gantz [Friday] night that he does not approve of his trip to Washington. Any official trip abroad by a minister that is not private but rather in an official capacity requires approval from the prime minister,” an unnamed senior figure close to Netanyahu told Haaretz.

A source from Netanyahu‘s Likud Party also told the Associated Press (AP) that Netanyahu held a “tough talk” with Gantz and told him the country has “just one prime minister.”

Gantz proceeded with the travel nonetheless and announced on X (formerly Twitter) Sunday that he met with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) Executive Board.

“I conveyed to the Board my profound appreciation for their important work, particularly since October 7th, in strengthening the alliance between Israel and the United States and combating distressing levels of antisemitism across America,” he added.

Gantz is scheduled to hold talks with US Vice President Kamala Harris on reducing Palestinian civilian casualties in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, reaching a temporary ceasefire, ensuring that hostages in Hamas’s clutches are freed, and increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Reuters first reported. Gantz also reportedly told Reuters in a statement that he would meet U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Republican and Democratic U.S. Congress members. (RELATED: Prime Minister Appears To Respond To Biden After He Criticized Their ‘Incredibly Conservative Government’)

Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden recently appeared to be at odds as regards the ongoing war. Biden said late last Monday in his appearance on Late Night with Seth Myers that Israel could “lose support from all around the world” with Netanyahu’s “incredibly conservative government”. Netanyahu responded late Tuesday, “[F]our out of five US citizens supports Israel and not Hamas,” citing a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll and adding, “This will help us continue the campaign until total victory.”

Certain analysts believe Gantz’s US visit signifies both his and Washington’s apparent distrust of Netanyahu. Senior Arab diplomats have been speaking with Gantz rather than Netanyahu, regarding Gantz as “the responsible adult in [the Israeli] government,” according to the Middle East Eye. Some 42% of poll respondents in Israel preferred Gantz to Netanyahu for the premiership, while 29% preferred Netanyahu to Gantz, The Times of Israel reported.

Biden on the Late Night Show also called for the release of the hostages, adding that there was “at least in principle — an agreement there’ll be a ceasefire while that takes place,” and that Israeli authorities have agreed not to fight during Ramadan “in order to give us time to get all the hostages out.”