Article

President Biden and Democrats’ Support of Israel Since October 7

June 10, 2024

Since October 7, 2023, when Hamas attacked Israel, President Biden has firmly supported Israel’s safety, security, and right to self-defense, as he has for his entire political career. President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked tirelessly to bring the hostages held by Hamas home and to support Israel diplomatically and militarily. At the same time, the Biden administration is taking unprecedented steps to counter rising antisemitism. The following is a summary of key facts about the Biden administration and the Democratic Party on these issues.

 

Topline:

  • The United States, under President Biden, provided intelligence that aided the successful rescue of four hostages on June 8. American intelligence collection and analysis teams have been in Israel throughout the war, assisting Israeli intelligence in collecting and analyzing information related to the hostages.
  • On June 4, the Biden administration announced its approval of a $3 billion sale of F-35 fighter jets to Israel.
  • On May 30, President Biden addressed the nation discussing a ceasefire and hostage release deal, approved by Israel and pending with Hamas. The President has placed the onus on Hamas to accept the deal, calling this “a decisive moment” and saying that “now it’s time to raise your voices and demand that Hamas come to the table and agree to this deal and end this war that they began.”
  • On May 20, President Biden called the International Criminal Court’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders “outrageous,” adding that there is no equivalence between the actions taken by Israel and those taken by Hamas.
  • On May 14, President Biden notified Congress that the Administration was moving forward on an additional $1 billion arms package for Israel.
  • On May 13, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan articulated President Biden’s policy on Israel, noting that “No president has stood stronger with Israel than Joe Biden.” He outlined ten key policy points that guide President Biden’s approach to Israel and the war in Gaza. Read NSA Sullivan’s overview, which includes continuing military assistance for Israel and ensuring that Israel receives the full amount provided in the emergency aid package requested by President Biden and passed by Congress in April 2024.
  • President Biden reiterated in his Proclamation on Jewish American Heritage Month for May 2024 that “my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad” and that his“Administration is working around the clock to free the hostages who have been held by Hamas for over half a year.” The Biden administration has repeatedly stated that the onus is on Hamas to accept the reasonable deals that have been proposed.
  • In April, the Biden administration vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that would have allowed a Palestinian bid for admission as a full member state to move forward.
  • In the face of an unprecedented direct Iranian attack on Israel, President Biden demonstrated – in word and deed – his ironclad commitment to Israel’s safety and security. President Biden led a coordinated response with Israel and other Western allies to intercept 99% of Iran’s drones and missiles, resulting in no fatalities and saving thousands of Israeli lives. 
  • In advance of Iran’s attack, President Biden positioned U.S. military assets in the region to help defend against Iranian aggression, and after Iran’s attack had been repelled, he quickly convened G7 leaders to coordinate a “united diplomatic response” and prevent further escalation.
  • In November, President Biden worked with regional partners to secure the release of more than 100 hostages including U.S. citizens, small children, and the elderly, including Holocaust survivors.
  • On October 20, 2023, President Biden and Congressional Democrats proposed an unprecedented $14.3 billion in supplemental aid to Israel as part of a package that included aid to Ukraine and humanitarian assistance. 
    • Instead of passing this package in its entirety as soon as possible, House Republicans stripped out key parts of the package and conditioned aid to Israel on cuts to the IRS. 
    • In the Senate, Republicans mired down this spending package in a debate about border security. After the Senate finally passed the aid package over Republican objections in February,  the GOP-controlled House took two months to call it for an up or down vote. It finally passed the House on April 20, six months after President Biden requested it and six months after it would have passed if Democrats controlled the House. The Democratic-controlled Senate then quickly approved it and President Biden signed it into law.
  • President Biden traveled to Israel ten days after Hamas’s horrific campaign of terror, the first time a sitting U.S. President has traveled to Israel during a time of war. In Israel, the President affirmed that the United States stands with Israel. He declared “Israel will be a safe, secure, and democratic state today, tomorrow, and forever.” The President made clear that Israel has the right and the duty to defend its people from Hamas and other terrorists and to prevent future attacks.
  • On October 7,  President Biden said, “My administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.” President Biden’s public statements since October 7 have consistently and repeatedly made clear that Israel’s short and long-term security remains a top priority of his administration and that he is a Zionist

 

Biden and Democrats Stand Strongly with Israel:

  • President Biden has authorized over 100 arms transfers to Israel since the war began, and he requested $14.3 billion in aid for Israel as part of a broader package that Republicans blocked for six months until finally passing legislation in April 2024.
  • The Biden administration has stood firmly against proceedings in the International Criminal Court accusing Israel of genocide. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: “We believe the submission against Israel to the International Court of Justice distracts the world from all of these important efforts. And moreover, the charge of genocide is meritless. It’s particularly galling, given that those who are attacking Israel – Hamas, Hizballah, the Houthis, as well as their supporter, Iran – continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews.”
  • On December 8, the Biden administration called out Hamas’s use of sexual violence, the refusal of Hamas to allow medical access to the hostages and to release them, and Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, consistent with international law. The Biden administration stated that “no country could or should tolerate what Hamas did on October 7” and has never backed down from that position.
  • President Biden’s support for Israel goes beyond words and includes action. At his direction immediately after the October 7 attack, the U.S. provided military assistance to facilitate a “swift, decisive and overwhelming” response and support Israel’s defense.
  • The U.S. moved two carrier strike groups in the Eastern Mediterranean to strengthen our force posture and bolster our fighter aircraft presence in the region to deter Hezbollah and others from joining Hamas in the conflict. 
  • The U.S. surged additional military assistance to Israel, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. 
  • Senate Majority Leader Schumer visited Israel days after the attack to support Israel and discuss Israel’s vital security needs. Leader Schumer has also spoken with officials worldwide, including China, to rally support for Israel.
  • Democratic House Leader Jeffries committed to “do everything necessary to support Israel’s effort to defeat the Hamas terrorists and their barbarity.”

 

Combating Antisemitism:

  • The White House strongly condemned antisemitic incidents that took place in and around Columbia University, calling them “antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous.” In May, President Biden said, “There should be no place on any campus, no place in America, for antisemitism or threats of violence against Jewish students.”
  • President Biden signed increased funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program into law, bolstering funding to help secure synagogues, other Jewish institutions, and those of other marginalized communities from hate crimes. Since then, Republicans demanded cuts to the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in recent budget negotiations.
  • In May 2023, the Biden administration released the most ambitious and comprehensive national strategy to counter antisemitism in U.S. history. The strategy mobilizes over two dozen federal agencies and contains over 100 specific, actionable steps to end this scourge of hate and prevent antisemitic attacks.
  • President Biden announced new actions that directly address campus antisemitism and build on his historic National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. He ordered the Department of Education to provide new guidance to schools and universities about antisemitic discrimination and how to enforce Title IV of the Civil Rights Act, directed the DHS to develop a campus safety guide for universities, and ordered the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism at the Department of State to take steps towards addressing Antisemitic content online.
  • The President established an inter-agency group focused on countering antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of discrimination, led by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt.

Last Revised 5/15/24

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