In his second speech to the country regarding the war involving Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group backed by Iran, President Biden stated that “Israel possesses a right to respond—and, certainly, has an duty to respond” to Hamas strikes this week.
Surrounded by VP Kamala Harris as well as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Biden responded to breaking news involving over 1,000 Israelis killed, almost 3,000 hurt, and more than 100 kidnapped this week.
“Our response would be quick, clear, and overwhelming if we went through what Israel has gone through.”
Hamas did horrible things to Israelis, mostly women and children, which Biden described as “violations of every code pertaining to human morality.” In his speech, he said that Hamas’s “stated reason of being is to murder Jews” and that the group’s actions reminded him of past attempts at killing all Jews.
The president said that his administration had been working with local and state authorities to protect synagogues, Jewish organizations, and other possible targets from racist attacks that could be linked to or motivated by Hamas terror.
He agreed with what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week when he said that Hamas was like ISIS, also known as “Daesh” or “Islamic State,” which shocked the entire world with its horrible crimes and was mostly destroyed by President Trump.
The president told Israel again that the United States stands with them. The U.S. would continue to give Israel weapons and supplies, such as Iron Dome rockets, he said.
He stated that Americans were among those killed as well as being held hostage by Hamas inside Gaza. He also said that the United States had sent a strike group from an aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean. He said that U.S. experts were talking with Israeli teams that deal with hostage situations.
Biden talked about meeting Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, in 1973, right before the Yom Kippur War. He remembered her telling him about Israel’s secret weapon: “We have nowhere else to go.”
Without calling Iran by name, Biden told other nations not to use the situation to launch attacks on Israel.
Finally, he said, “Let there be no doubt: Israel is supported by the United States. As always, we’re going to make sure that Israel, a free and Jewish state, can protect itself both now and in the future. It’s really that easy.”
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan later told reporters at a White House meeting that 14 Americans were among those killed and 20 were missing. He also said that the 20 people who were missing might not have been prisoners who were taken by Hamas to Gaza. He further stated that the number remains unknown, but there were some Americans being held prisoners.
These remarks meant that President Biden still hadn’t talked to the families of the Americans who were killed or went missing, but that the government had already done so. He stated that Iran had backed the attack on Israel, however the U.S. didn’t yet have proof that Iran knew about the latest attacks ahead of time or that it worked with Hamas to carry them out.