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Biden lauds anti-Israel congresswoman: ‘More courage, chutzpah, stamina than anyone’

At a Seattle-area fundraiser, the U.S. president also said “I guess I shouldn’t get into all this about Israel.”

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in the Red Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2021. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in the Red Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18, 2021. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.

U.S. President Joe Biden praised Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, as “a woman with more courage and chutzpah and stamina than anyone I know” at a Medina, Wash. fundraiser on Saturday evening.

Jon Shirley, former president and CEO of Microsoft, and his wife Kim held the fundraiser at their home near Seattle.

“Before I begin, let me answer a question related to the hostages,” Biden said, per the pool report. “I keep getting asked by the press and all the other folks out there. You know, there would be a ceasefire tomorrow if Ira—Hamas released the hostages, women, the elderly and the wounded.”

“Israel said it’s up to Hamas if they wanted to do it, we could end it tomorrow,” the president added. “And the ceasefire would begin tomorrow. It all has to do … you know, we’ve not … anyway, I guess I shouldn’t get into all this about Israel but … .”

“You know …, ” Biden added, before pausing “for a full five seconds,” per the pool. “Well, I don’t want to get going … ”

Jayapal—whose courage, chutzpah and stamina Biden praised—has a history of anti-Israel statements.

On May 1, she was one of 55 members of Congress who urged the White House to withhold military aid to the Jewish state.

In December, the congresswoman twice hedged her condemnations of Hamas terrorists raping Israeli women.

“I said it’s horrific, and I think that rape is horrific. Sexual assault is horrific. I think that it happens in war situations,” she told CNN at the time. “Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools, however, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians.”

Also in December, she accused Israel of “indiscriminate bombing.” The prior month, she said that Israel had committed “war crimes.”

In July 2023, Jayapal told protesters at a conference, “I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state.”

During an interview with CNN last week, Biden threatened Israel that he would withhold weapons if it launched an attack in Rafah, the final stronghold of the Hamas terror organization.

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