Article

President Biden and Democrats’ Support of Israel Since October 7

October 19, 2023

Topline:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In his public remarks, President Biden has repeatedly reiterated that Hamas bears responsibility for this conflict and shows no regard for Palestinian lives or livelihoods – it only continues to perpetuate Palestinian suffering.
  • 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, the GOP-controlled House has refused to call it for an up or down vote and it has yet to reach President Biden’s desk.
  • 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.
  • Approximately 134 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza, including American citizens. President Biden is working to establish an immediate ceasefire that would bring the hostages home, bring humanitarian aid in, and build toward enduring peace. The United States has been leading international efforts to get more humanitarian assistance into Gaza and to protect aid workers who deliver that assistance to the Palestinian people.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

 

Democrats Stand Strongly with Israel:

  • President Biden’s support for Israel goes beyond words and includes action. At his direction immediately after the October 7 attack, the U.S. is providing 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. 
  • President Biden has authorized over 100 arms transfers to Israel since the war began, and he has requested $14.3 billion in aid for Israel as part of a broader package that Republicans have blocked since late October 2023.
  • Senate Majority Leader Schumer visited with 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.”
  • 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.” 
  • 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.”

 

Combating Antisemitism:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

 

Talking Points: Vice President Harris Stands with the Jewish Community