Biden’s Unifying Speech on Israel and Ukraine
President Joe Biden convinced Americans on Thursday night in a rare speech from the Oval Office that supporting Israel and Ukraine in their respective conflicts—which pose a threat to wider instability in Europe and the Middle East—is essential to both international and American national security.
“I know the conflicts can seem far away and it’s natural to ask: Why does this matter to America?” stated Biden. “Let me now explain to you why it is critical to America’s national security that Israel and Ukraine prosper. History has shown us, you know, that when tyrants and terrorists don’t pay a price for their aggression or for their terror, more turmoil, more deaths, and more destruction results.”
Throughout his solemn speech, the president emphasized America’s duty to protect democracy and to serve as a “beacon to the world, still,” all the while attempting to reassure the country at a time when feelings of grief, anger, and unrest were on the rise following Hamas’ terror attack on Israel and Israel’s subsequent war on Hamas in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
“I want to let everyone who is struggling know that I am aware of them. The President said, “You belong.” “And I want to say this to you: You’re all America.”
One day prior to his speech, Biden had visited Tel Aviv during a war, putting his personal diplomacy and US global leadership in jeopardy to the test.
Following the 1,400-plus Hamas assaults on Israel, he urged the group with unrelenting backing and got Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet to agree to let humanitarian aid into Gaza. However, he also encouraged authorities to exercise caution as they step up operations against Hamas in Gaza, where the conflict has claimed hundreds of lives.
In a warning he repeated from the White House on Thursday night, Biden cautioned Israel not to replicate what he termed the “mistakes” committed by the US in the wake of 9/11.
In his second speech from the Oval Office, Biden warned the Israeli leadership “not to be blinded by rage.” “And let’s remember who we are as Americans. We oppose hate in all its manifestations, be it directed towards Jews, Muslims, or anyone else. We are a great nation, and that is what great nations do.”
The concern that Jewish communities have that they may be targeted is something that Biden clearly addressed. He also condemned the murder of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, a Palestinian-American youngster, in Chicago last week. The police believe it to have been a hate crime. Biden had a conversation with the boy’s father and uncle shortly after his address, according to the White House.
“We can’t stand by and stand silent when this happens,” Biden stated. “We must categorically condemn antisemitism. Additionally, we must categorically condemn Islamophobia.”
Specifically, Biden stated that his speech prepared the framework for a sizable foreign aid request that he will present to Congress in support of Israel and Ukraine, with the goal of bolstering their defense capacities. Prior to his speech, he spoke with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, who thanked him for the continued support from the United States.
“Both Putin and Hamas represent distinct threats, but they have one thing in common: they both seek to utterly destroy a neighboring democracy,” Biden stated, making reference to the president of Russia and the extremist organization that invaded Ukraine at the beginning of 2022.
According to people acquainted with the document, the president’s aid package, which is still being finalized, may total up to $100 billion, including a staggering $60 billion set out specifically for
Biden described it as “a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations, help us keep American troops out of harm’s way, help us build a world that is safer, more peaceful, and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren,” though he did not provide a specific amount for his upcoming request to Congress.
Along with funding for the U.S.-Mexico border, the White House’s draft aid package includes $10 billion for Israel. This is probably an attempt to appease conservatives who have voiced objections to providing additional aid to Ukraine.
However, the appeal will be made to a Congress that is immobilized as there hasn’t been a speaker in the House since Kevin McCarthy was famously removed more than two weeks ago. Republicans are in disarray in the chamber as they have not been able to agree on a replacement thus far.
The terror incidents that occurred in Israel have made people feel pressure to close the gap. Republicans and Democrats alike gave Oklahoma Representative Tom Cole a standing ovation when he mentioned Israel’s right to self-defense as he was proposing Jim Jordan of Ohio for the position. However, as of Thursday, it was still unclear how to really pass the speaker’s gavel.
In order to maintain order overseas, Biden—who is also putting the finishing touches on his own reelection campaign—said on Thursday that it was essential to move past domestic disagreements.
“We can’t let petty, partisan, angry politics get in the way of the way of our responsibilities as a great nation,” he stated. “Tyrants like Putin and terrorists like Hamas cannot and will not prevail. That is not going to happen. We need to remember who we are at times like this. The United States of America is who we are.”
“We are the essential nation,” he said.
“The world is held together by the leadership of the United States. America’s security is derived from its alliances. America is a partner that other countries want to work with because of our ideals. It is simply not worth it to jeopardize all of that if we abandon Israel and withdraw from Ukraine.”