Israel gave Biden his worst news yet: the war in Gaza could last past the election

  • Israel expects its war against Hamas to last months more — past the US election.

  • That could keep the war in Gaza at the top of voters' minds.

  • Biden's support for Israel is causing him to lose traction among young voters, polls show.

A top Israeli official says the war in Gaza should last at least through the end of the year.

And that's potentially terrible news for Joe Biden's presidential campaign, which has been struggling to shore up support among young voters who criticize his support of Israel.

Israel's National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said in an Israeli public radio interview on Wednesday that his country is "expecting another seven months of fighting" to achieve its stated goal of destroying Hamas, the Associated Press reported.

Hanegbi said the cabinet knew from the beginning that the war would be long and that 2024 would be "defined as a year of combat," CNN reported.

"You need to have patience and know how to stand strong," Hanegbi said, according to CNN. "This resilience is what has allowed this nation to survive for 75 years and even for 3,000 years before that. Just don't use a stopwatch on ourselves or set ultimatums."

That'll mean that the Israel-Gaza war will remain in the headlines — and potentially cost him votes come November.

Biden has struggled to gain traction among young Americans — the majority of whom oppose his pro-Israel stance, polling shows.

A recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS found that 81% of voters under 35 disapprove of Biden's handling of the war in Gaza. That base of young voters could be critical to winning the presidential election.

It's not just polling that's shown young voters' dissatisfaction with Biden. Thousands of students protesting the war in Gaza at college campuses across the country have taken issue with Biden's support of Israel, which they allege amounts to a US-sanctioned genocide against the Palestinian people.

Some have even taken to calling him "Genocide Joe," Politico reported.

Earlier this year, a movement of uncommitted Democratic voters withheld their votes for Biden over his support of Israel.

In Michigan's February primary, more than 100,000 voters in the state chose "uncommitted" in protest, raising the specter that they could hold out in November.

The war in Gaza rages on

This month, Israel intensified its assaults into Rafah, a major southern Gazan city.

Just last week, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its operation in Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have been sheltering, the AP reported. But Israel is plowing ahead.

On Sunday, an Israeli airstrike killed dozens of Palestinians in an encampment outside Israel's evacuation order.

Israeli officials have said they were targeting Hamas militants, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the civilian deaths a "tragic mistake."

The deadly strike has drawn international outrage; a White House spokesperson said this week that the Biden administration hasn't changed its stance on Israel since the attack.

Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023 — leaving hundreds of civilians dead and sparking a fierce Israeli response with airstrikes that have killed tens of thousands of Palestinians — Biden has gone back and forth with Israel over its military operations.

Though Biden has repeatedly pledged his support for Israel, he has also said that Israeli attacks on Gaza were "over the top" and that the starvation of innocent people has "got to stop."

He's called for a ceasefire deal between Hamas and Israel and briefly halted some munitions shipments to Israel, but since then, the US has signaled it would send other military aid to the Jewish state.

Biden seems like he'll continue to straddle the line between defending Israel and condemning attacks on civilians — and that may cost him reelection.

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