National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Tuesday apologized for a post from his son that likened US President Joe Biden to an Alzheimer’s patient, implying that he is suffering from cognitive decline.
Shuvael Ben Gvir, 18, posted a photo of Biden on X, formerly Twitter, writing, “In these difficult times it is important to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease that is the most common cause of cognitive decline and dementia.”
“A serious disease that affects a person’s functions and ability,” he wrote.
The post was later deleted.
The far-right minister apologized for his son’s post, writing that it was a “serious mistake with a tweet I deeply disapprove of.”
“The United States of America is our great friend and President Biden is a friend of Israel. Even if I disagree with his conduct, there is no room, God forbid, for a disparaging style,” Ben Gvir wrote. “I apologize for my son’s words.”
שובאל, בנו של השר לביטחון לאומי איתמר בן גביר, צייץ נגד הנשיא ביידן – "אלצהיימר – מחלה הפוגעת בתפקוד האדם וביכולתו להתנהל". הציוץ נמחק. השר בן גביר התנצל: "הוא עשה טעות חמורה בציוץ שאני מסתייג ממנו עמוקות"@shemeshmicha pic.twitter.com/l2Mi23V30d
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) February 6, 2024
A couple of minutes later, the minister’s son also apologized, tweeting a picture of Biden with the sentence “Mr. President, sorry!”
The tweet and subsequent apologies came two days after an interview with Ben Gvir was published by the Wall Street Journal in which the Otzma Yehudit leader harshly criticized the Biden administration’s handling of the war in Gaza, accusing it of benefitting Hamas and arguing that Israel would have been better off dealing with a second Trump administration.
The far-right minister’s comments — which were subsequently repudiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — came on the heels of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant publicly thanking US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Biden administration “for their efforts in pursuing a framework for the return of the hostages, for their commitment to Israel’s security, and their leadership in strengthening security in the Middle East region.”
Israel is four months into a war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers, following the terror group’s murderous rampage across southern Israel on October 7, when thousands of terrorists killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 253 people of all ages as hostages. Following the attack, Israel declared war on Hamas, launching an offensive aimed at removing it from power and returning the hostages.
According to the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza, over 27,000 Palestinians in the Strip have been killed since October 7. These figures cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 10,000 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.
Since Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, the Biden administration fast-tracked the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of munitions to Israel, bypassing congressional review.
At the same time as it has provided Israel with weapons and diplomatic backing in its war against Hamas, the White House has also pushed Jerusalem to allow more aid to reach Gazans and is reportedly weighing the use of weapons supplies as leverage to pressure Israel to reduce the intensity of its operations in the Gaza Strip.
This approach, paired with the administration’s criticism of Ben Gvir’s repeated calls for Israel to encourage the “voluntary emigration” of the Strip’s population, has drawn the national security minister’s ire, leading him to recently declare that Israel was “not another star in the American flag.”