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May 20, 2021 29 min

It has been more than a week since the latest escalation between Israel and Hamas, and President Biden has been taking a cautious approach.

The president has stressed Israel’s right to defend itself, but he seems reluctant to place too much pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Mr. Biden has known Mr. Netanyahu for decades. Is that a help or a hindrance?

Guest: Michael Crowley, a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • Mr. Biden has maintained his public support toward Israel even as he adopted a somewhat sharper private tone with Mr. Netanyahu, a calculus shaped by their longtime relationship.
  • Among Democrats in Congress, attitudes toward Israel have grown more critical as the party base expresses concern about the human rights of Palestinians.
  • Here’s what to know about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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