newsU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden: Hamas stands for murdering Jews, not Palestinian dignity or self-determination

“The brutality of Hamas, the blood-thirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism, but sadly for the Jewish people, it's not new,” the U.S. president said.

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation about Israel, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Oct. 10, 2023. Source: YouTube/White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation about Israel, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Oct. 10, 2023. Source: YouTube/White House.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke on Tuesday afternoon with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. About an hour later, he addressed the nation for about 10 minutes, addressing the “unadulterated evil” of Hamas’s attack on Israel.

“The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend,” Biden said. “The brutality of Hamas, the blood-thirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism, but sadly for the Jewish people, it’s not new.”

Biden made clear that the United States stands with Israel. “They use Palestinian civilians as human shields,” he said of the Hamas terrorist organization, which has said that it will execute captives, “in violation of every code of human morality.”

“Hamas doesn’t stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination. Its stated purpose is the annihilation of the state of Israel and the murder of Jewish people,” he said.

“It leaves a black hole in your chest when you lose family. You feel like you’re being sucked into the anger, the pain, the sense of hopelessness. This is what they mean by human tragedy. An atrocity on an appalling scale,” Biden said. “Our hearts may be broken, but our resolve is clear.”

“This is a moment for the United States to come together, to grieve with those who are mourning,” he added. “Let there be no doubt, the U.S. has Israel’s back and will make sure the Jewish and democratic State of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow as it always has. As simple as that.”

Third call between Biden and Netanyahu

In the trio’s call, Biden, Harris and Netanyahu discussed “coordination to support Israel, deter hostile actors and protect innocent people,” according to Biden’s X handle.

Some four hours prior, Biden had posted: “This is not some distant tragedy—the ties between Israel and the United States run deep. It is personal for so many American families who are feeling the pain of this attack as well as the scars inflicted through millennia of antisemitism and persecution of Jewish people.”

“In cities across the country, local and federal law-enforcement partners are closely monitoring for any domestic threats in connection with the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel,” he added.

Biden Harris
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and their teams receive an update on Israel on Oct. 10, 2023. Credit: X/President Biden.

Biden was slated to deliver remarks to the nation on Israel at 1 p.m. Washington time, but he had not begun an hour later. Around 1:15 p.m., the pool reporter noted that “President Biden and Vice President Harris just concluded a call with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss our support for Israel.”

Readouts of the call were not yet available from Jerusalem or Washington.

Bipartisan support

Earlier in the day, Israeli President Isaac Herzog spoke by phone with “a high-level bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators, who were currently making a diplomatic visit to China,” per a readout from Herzog’s office.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) led the delegation, which also included Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.).

The delegation expressed “their outrage and condemnation of the horrific attack by Hamas on the citizens of Israel, and their deepest condolences for the terrible loss of life,” per the readout. “As representatives of both sides of the aisle in the Senate, the delegation stressed their firm stand and support for Israel and its right to defend itself and its people.”

The senators told Herzog that they had noted support for Israel in their meetings with Chinese officials. “The delegation reassured President Herzog of the United States’s willingness to provide Israel with aid and support—and noted that they would work in the Senate to approve any request.”

Also earlier in the day, House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), along with 390 colleagues in Congress, issued a bipartisan resolution supporting Israel and condemning Hamas.

“Now is the time to show the world the United States firmly stands with our friend and ally Israel in our condemnation of this heinous attack by Iran-backed terrorists,” McCaul stated. “I expect this bipartisan resolution to be one of the first, if not the first items considered on the floor once we elect a new speaker. And I expect it to receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”

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