US President Joe Biden on Monday night touted his unshakeable support for “the safety of the Jewish people and the security of Israel and its right to exist” in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks of October
The president pointed to his support for Israel, while acknowledging daylight on issues between himself and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, joking that he had once told the Israeli leader: “I love you, but I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say.” He added: “It’s about the same today.”
Still, Biden said in remarks marking the fifth night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah that Israel was in “a tough spot,” following the Hamas attack and subsequent war in Gaza.
“We’ll continue to provide military assistance to Israel until they get rid of Hamas, but we have to be careful — they have to be careful,” Biden said. “The whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight, we can’t let that happen.”
The president also hailed the work his administration has done to secure the release of hostages still held in Gaza and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the region.
“We’re working relentlessly for the safe return of the hostages. I personally spent countless hours – and I mean it, probably up to 20 hours with the Qataris and Egyptians, the Israelis – to secure the freedom of hostages, to get the trucks in, to get the humanitarian aid flowing, to convince them to open the gate, to have [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] El-Sisi — make sure he opened the gate into Egypt,” Biden said. “And there’s a whole range of things going on now that are really very, very difficult. We’ve gotten more than 100 hostages out and we’re not going to stop till we get every one of them home.”
Biden was joined by second gentleman Doug Emhoff and a group of White House officials descended from Holocaust survivors who lit the White House menorah.