In a prime-time speech, President Joe Biden addressed the country for the first time since massive violence broke out between Israel and Hamas, explaining why it’s necessary to continue to support America’s partners in Israel and Ukraine.
“That’s why tomorrow, I’m going to send to Congress an urgent budget request to fund America’s national security needs 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. To help us keep American troops out of harm’s way,” Biden said.
“We can’t let petty partisan angry politics get in the way of our responsibilities as a great nation,” Biden said. He also addressed the humanitarian crisis in Palestine.
“The United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination. The actions of Hamas terrorists don’t take that right away,” he said, “We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace and have an opportunity.”
“The security package I’m asking congress to do is an unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security that will sharpen their qualitative military edge which we’ve committed to,” Biden said. “At the same time, President Netanyahu and I discussed the critical need for Israel to operate by the laws of war. That means protecting civilians in combat. The people of Gaza urgently need food, water, and medicine. Yesterday, in discussions with the leaders of Israel and Egypt, I secured an agreement for the first shipment of humanitarian assistance from the United Nations to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”
“As hard as it is, we cannot give up on peace. We cannot give up on a two-state solution,” the President said.
He went on to explain the need for stopping Putin in Ukraine. “You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price, when dictators don’t pay a price, they cause more destruction and death. They keep going and the threats to America keep rising. So if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine,” Biden said.
Biden’s funding request of about $100 billion will also include money for Taiwan’s defense and managing the flow of migrants at the Mexican border, according to those familiar with the proposal. The details of the plan are expected to be unveiled on Friday.
Biden visited Tel Aviv on Wednesday to pledge his solidarity with Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks that killed more than 1,300 civilians. During this visit, Biden said he would “ask the United States Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense,” which would help supply Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system with ammunition to protect Israelis from missiles. He also advocated for more humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the Gaza strip.
Prior to a bilateral meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, Biden also addressed the blast at a Gaza hospital on Oct. 17 that killed hundreds. “And based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not — not you. But there’s a lot of people out there who are not sure,” he said.
Wrapping up his visit to Israel, Biden compared the Oct. 7 attack to 9/11 and cautioned Israel against being consumed by rage: “After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.”