Biden Reaffirms Unwavering Support for Israel Amid Rising Anti-Semitism and Gaza Conflict

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US President Joe Biden expressed his “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security at a White House reception event on Monday, marking the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. He also pledged continued military support for West Jerusalem amid its conflict with the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group, Hamas.

The US remains Israel’s most important ally amid the ongoing conflict, which has sparked widespread condemnation in the Muslim world and beyond over Israeli bombardments of Gaza. The strikes have led to heavy civilian casualties, according to local medical authorities.

Biden criticized a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism, labeling it as “sickening,” occurring not only in the United States but globally as well. He expressed concern about its presence in various settings such as communities, educational institutions, colleges, and social media. Furthermore, he emphasized that remaining silent equates to being complicit.

The United States has given the green light for an urgent weapons sale to Israel.

Speaking to Jewish lawmakers and other attendees, the president said that his “commitment to the safety of the Jewish people and the security of Israel, its right to exist as an independent Jewish state, is unshakeable.” He then vowed to “continue to provide military assistance to Israel until they get rid of Hamas,” adding, however, that both Washington and West Jerusalem had to be careful not to antagonize “the world’s public opinion.”

The Biden administration recently authorized the emergency sale of $106.5 million worth of tank ammunition to Israel, sidestepping the usual congressional oversight process. This decision came as the White House faced challenges in securing approval from lawmakers for a larger package of supplemental security funding, which included $14.3 billion for Israel.

UN ceasefire appeal for Gaza blocked by US

The President of the United States expressed his strong bond with the Jewish community, stating that he felt an unwavering connection to them. He also mentioned that he had faced criticism in the past for his statement that one doesn’t have to be Jewish to support Zionism, and that he personally identifies as a Zionist. The President made these remarks while addressing a crowd of around 800 people.

The United States was the sole member of the United Nations Security Council to reject an urgent measure last week, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. This move came as UN Secretary-General Antonio GUterres sounded the alarm on the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region, warning that the majority of households in northern Gaza and a significant proportion of displaced individuals in the south are struggling to access adequate food, placing them at risk of starvation and famine.

Israel launched its military operation in Gaza in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on October 7 that claimed the lives of some 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians. More than 240 people were also taken hostage by the militants.

According to recent estimates from the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 18,400 people in the Palestinian enclave have lost their lives as a result of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) extensive airstrikes and subsequent ground incursion.

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