Delivering a key message in a prime-time Oval Office speech on Thursday, President Joe Biden made an appeal for congressional backing on a substantial aid package aimed at bolstering two strategic U.S. allies: Israel and Ukraine.
Addressing the devastating Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas militants, Biden drew a parallel to the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in the U.S. He alluded to the long-term military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq that followed, emphasizing the importance of not acting impulsively when fueled by anger. “Experiencing the nightmare of 9/11, our nation was consumed by rage. And while we did seek justice, our approach had its flaws. I thus urged the Israeli government not to let anger cloud its judgment,” Biden conveyed.
Solidarity with Allies
After his recent visit to Tel Aviv on Wednesday, the President expanded on his discussions with Israeli leaders, particularly regarding the ongoing counter-operations in Gaza. The current aerial attacks might soon transition into a potentially precarious ground operation.
Echoing his earlier solidarity trip to Ukraine in February, Biden’s journey to the active conflict zone in Israel underscored the U.S.’ unwavering support for an ally confronting existential threats.
Describing the recent attacks by Hamas, Biden stated, “The vile acts of terror unleashed by Hamas are the very embodiment of malevolence. However, history has consistently shown the Jewish community the depth of cruelty individuals can display when fueled by prejudice.”
He also made a clear distinction, noting, “Hamas is not a representative body of the Palestinian people.”
Linking the Conflicts: A Unified Message
In his address, Biden made a concerted effort to highlight the interconnectedness of the wars in Israel and Ukraine, emphasizing their broader implications for U.S. national interests. He noted that the underlying objectives of both Hamas and Russian President Vladimir Putin are to undermine neighboring democracies. Should they succeed, they would likely gain confidence and pursue further aggressive actions.
Drawing from the annals of history, Biden warned, “When acts of terror go unpunished and when aggressors face no consequences, the ensuing chaos, death, and devastation escalate. The associated risks to global stability and U.S. security interests intensify.”