Amid a flood of condemnations of Israel flowing from Democratic progressives, President Joe Biden said Friday his party still supports the embattled nation.
“My party still supports Israel,” Biden said Friday, according to Fox News.
“Until the region says unequivocally they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace,” he said.
House Democrats blocked a bill that would have put sanctions on those who finance terrorism.
They had a chance to stand with Israel, but they stood aside instead—this is an insult to one of America’s greatest allies.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 19, 2021
Biden said he has not changed his support for Israel, but might support things Israel does not want.
“There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all,” he said.
“But I’ll tell you what there is a shift in. The shift is that, we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer,” he said.
We should all be grateful that a ceasefire will prevent more civilians and children from being killed.
But now what? We need accountability for every war crime committed. And we need to stop underwriting crimes against humanity while doing nothing to end the occupation.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 21, 2021
A two-state solution had been the Middle East policy of former President Barack Obama, who said he supported “a stable, secure Israel, at peace with its neighbors, and a Palestinian homeland that meets the aspirations of their people,” according to the Times of Israel. Biden was Obama’s vice president.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden supports Israel, but also the “Palestinian people.”
“We have no plans to change our security assistance that we’re providing to Israel. But I will say that the President’s view is through — is that we need to do — we need to move forward on a couple of fronts. Certainly, supporting the security of Israel is one of them,” she said at a media briefing on Friday, according to a White House transcript of the briefing.
“But another front is rebuilding — playing a constructive role in rebuilding Gaza; providing assistance and funding through the U.N. efforts to do exactly that; ensuring that it is not Hamas, but is the Palestinian people who benefit from that assistance. And doing that through the U.N. is, in our view, the best way to do that,” she said.
She also said that the Biden administration will work with Arab nations to address the next step for the middle East.
“It also includes continuing to have engaged diplomacy with leaders in the region, continuing discussions with officials across the Middle East — Egyptians, Israelis, Palestinian leaders, Qataris, others — about how we move forward from here,” she said.
Ben Rhodes, who served as a deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration, said Biden’s response may not reflect the current political reality within his own party.
“There’s kind of an old set of talking points in the Democratic Party where you’re basically expressing full support to Israel but also saying you do support a two-state solution,” Rhodes said, according to NPR.
“And, I think people can see that those talking points don’t work anymore — that the circumstance around a two-state solution has deteriorated to the point that it’s hard to credibly say we stand with no daylight with the Israeli government, but we also stand for Palestinian rights,” he said.
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar had tweeted on May 10 about the conflict and criticized the iron dome.
Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism.
Palestinians deserve protection.
Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians.
It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid. https://t.co/vWWQfMqBkT
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 10, 2021
“Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid,” she said.
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