Hezbollah won’t widen war but will fight if needed, deputy head tells Al Jazeera

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden attacked Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, saying there was “every reason” to believe the Israeli prime minister was delaying the Gaza war to save himself politically.
Biden added that he had a “major disagreement” with Netanyahu over the post-conflict future of Gaza and said Israel had behaved “inappropriately” during the war, which was sparked by the October 7 attack by Hamas.
More broadly, the 81-year-old made his case in the interview as better placed than electoral rival Donald Trump to ensure the US is a “world superpower” on issues ranging from Ukraine to Taiwan and Gaza.
In an interview with Time days before he announced Israel’s proposal for a Gaza cease-fire agreement, which Netanyahu received coolly, Biden was asked if he believed the Israeli was delaying the war for political self-preservation.
“There’s every reason for people to conclude that,” Biden replied.
Biden acknowledged that he and Netanyahu, who had a strained relationship as the death toll in Gaza rose, were particularly at odds over the need for a Palestinian state.
“My biggest disagreement with Netanyahu is what happens after … Gaza is over? What, what is he coming back to? Do the Israeli forces go back?” the Democrat said.
“The answer is, if that’s the case, it can’t work.”
Defending Ukraine against a Russian invasion has been a cornerstone of Biden’s foreign policy, and he has argued that he is in a better position than Trump to continue that in a second term.
Biden said the Russian military had been “damn decimated” and added: “Peace is seen as ensuring that Russia never, never, never, never occupies Ukraine.”
He also railed against his Republican predecessor, who threatened to tear up longstanding alliances with the United States, and reached out to a number of authoritarian leaders while in power.
“All the bad guys root for Trump, man,” Biden said.
“Name me a world leader other than Orban and Putin who thinks Trump should be the world leader in the United States of America.”
As tensions with China remain high, Biden also reiterated that the United States will stand behind a self-governing Taiwan, while saying Washington is not trying to change the status quo.
“We are not seeking Taiwan independence, and in fact we will not defend Taiwan if, if China unilaterally tries to change the status,” Biden said.
With polls showing American voters are concerned about Biden’s age, despite the fact that at 77, Trump is only four years younger, Biden said he is still the better candidate.
“I can do it better than anybody you know,” Biden said when asked if he was fit to serve a second term, which would end at age 86.

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