Biden presses case for aiding Ukraine, Israel

October 19, 2023

President Biden on Thursday evening said he’d be sending an “urgent budget request” to Congress for “America’s national security needs, and to support our critical partners, including Israel and Ukraine.”

“It’s 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,” Biden said during the second Oval Office address of his Presidency.

He spoke to the American people 12 days after Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel and nearly 20 months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden pressed his case for more funding by tying the terrorist group Hamas’ “unleashed pure, unadulterated evil” to the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “Hamas and Putin…have this in common: they both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy.”

“Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as human shields,” Biden asserted. “Meanwhile, Putin denies Ukraine has or ever had real statehood. He claims the Soviet union created Ukraine and just two weeks ago he told the world that if the United States and our allies withdraw—and if the United States withdraws, our allies will as well – military support for Ukraine would have ‘a week left to live.’ But we’re not withdrawing.” 

Then he explained why these conflicts far across the globe should matter to the American people. 

“History has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for the terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” Biden said. “They keep going. The cost to America and the threats to the world keep rising.”

Insisting that his Administration does not seek to have American troops fighting in or against Russia, Biden said, “If we walk away and let Putin erase Ukraine’s independence, would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same. The risk of conflict and chaos could spread to other parts of the world, in the Indo-Pacific, in the Middle East—especially in the Middle East. Iran is supporting Russia and Ukraine, and it’s supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region. And will continue to hold them accountable, I might add.”

Biden noted that while in Israel earlier this week, he discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “the critical need for Israel to operate by the laws of war. That means protecting civilians in combat as best as they can. The people of Gaza urgently need food, water and medicine.”

While abroad, Biden secured an agreement with Israel’s cabinet for the “delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza” who are running out of crucial supplies, some ten days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “complete seige” of Gaza cutting off supply and power lines.

Up to 20 aid trucks were set to begin rolling across the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, as soon as roads destroyed by Israeli airstrikes are repaired.

As of Thursday afternoon there were still more than 200 civilians unaccounted for, including 30 kids, among those presumed taken hostage by Hamas. The terrorist organization has threatened to execute a hostage every time an Israeli airstrike hits Gazans in their homes.

“As I told the families of the Americans being held hostage captive by Hamas, we are pursuing every avenue to bring their loved ones home,” Biden said in his Oval Office address. “As President, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage. 

The President also noted, “As I said in Israel, as hard as it is, we cannot give up on peace. We cannot give up on a two-state solution. Israel and Palestinians equally deserve to live in safety and dignity and peace.” 

Biden ended by stating that in the United States, which he called a “beacon to the world,” people must not give in to hate, such as antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“We are a nation of religious freedom, freedom of expression,” he remarked. “We all have a right to debate and disagree without fear of being targeted in schools or workplaces are in our communities. We must renounce violence and vitriol, see each other not as enemies but his fellow Americans.”

PHOTO: Biden Oval Office Address

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