US President Joe Biden addressed the American people Thursday night from the Oval Office, as he spoke about conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.
While warning that ‘chaos will spread,’ the president pleaded with Congress to pass what’s expected to be $100 billion in new funding, which is already being met with resistance by Congressional Republicans, wary of giving any new money to Ukraine.
In his 15-minute address, Biden said Russian President Vladimir Putin and the terror group Hamas, are responsible for the bloody October 7 attack on Israel ‘represent different threats’ but share a common goal.
They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy,’ he said.
Biden warned that if bad actors like Putin are left unchecked ‘would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same.’
‘The risk of conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world, in the Indo-Pacific, in the Middle East, especially in the Middle East.’
He then noted another common thread between Ukraine and Israel: Iran.
‘Iran is supporting Russia in Ukraine and it’s supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region,’ Biden said. ‘And we will continue to hold them accountable, I might add.’
He continued, ‘American leadership is what holds the world together.’
‘American alliances are what keep us – America – safe. American values are what make us a partner that other nations want to work with,’ he said.
‘To put all that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine, we turn our backs on Israel – it’s just not worth it.’
The president laid out that Putin’s ‘appetite for power and control’ means he won’t ‘limit himself to Ukraine,’ which could spill into a conflict where NATO countries are involved.
If that happens, Biden warned, ‘we’ll have something that we do not seek.’
‘We do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia, or fighting against Russia,’ he said.
The president made other pledges too – telling family members of the hostages abducted by Hamas in Israel during the October 7 terror attack that ‘we’re pursuing every avenue to bring their loved ones home.’
‘As president, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage,’ he said.
‘The terrorist of Hamas unleashed pure unadulterated evil in the world that sadly the Jewish people know perhaps better than anyone that there is no limit to the depravity of people when they want to inflict pain on others,’ he noted.
Biden also pushed for foreign aid to get into Gaza where Palestinian civilians are suffering while Hamas fires rockets at Israel.
Biden said that during his sit-down Wednesday in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he discussed ‘the critical need for Israel to operate by the laws of war.’
‘That means protecting civilians in combat as best they can,’ Biden said. ‘The people of Gaza urgently need food, water and medicine,’ he observed.
Biden also asked that the Israeli government not be ‘blinded by rage.’
The president said after discussions with Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi he ‘secured an agreement for the first shipment of humanitarian assistance from the United Nations to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.’
‘If Hamas does not divert or steal this shipment, these shipments, we’re going to provide an opening for sustained delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance for the Palestinians,’ Biden said.
He then added, ‘we cannot give up on peace. We cannot give up on a two-state solution.’
While his in-person meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was cancelled in the aftermath of Tuesday’s hospital explosion in Gaza, Biden spoke to the leader by phone on board Air Force One.
Biden said that he ‘reiterated that the United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and to self-determination.’
‘The actions Hamas did don’t take that right away,’ Biden said.
The president said he was ‘heartbroken’ by the ‘tragic loss of Palestinian life’ in Gaza, including at the hospital.
He added, ‘which was not done by the Israelis,’ doubling down on statements he made Wednesday, which assigned blame to an errant rocket launched by another terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.