- President Joe Biden wrapped up a visit to Israel on Wednesday afternoon
- He made it clear that Israel could rely on the US for support and weapons
- But he offered a lesson from September 11 and said the US had made mistakes
President Joe Biden warned Israel not to be consumed by anger even as he vowed the US would stand with Israelis and their demands for justice after a carnage equivalent to 15 attacks on September 11.
He delivered an angry speech at the end of a day in Tel Aviv meeting Israeli leaders and victims of the Hamas terror attack.
“We’ve seen it described as Israel’s 9/11,” Biden said. “For a nation as large as Israel, September 15 seemed like 11.
“The scale may be different, but I am sure that these horrors have sown some kind of primal feeling in Israel, just as it has in America: shock pain, anger… an all-consuming rage.”
The words were part of a recurring theme: Biden’s commitment to supporting Israel after 1,300 people were killed by Hamas.
Joe Biden warned Israel not to be consumed by anger even as he promised that the US would stand with the Israelis after a carnage equivalent to that of September 15, 11.
On Tuesday, bodies of victims of the strike at al-Ahli hospital are seen lined up in a courtyard
However, his trip was overshadowed by a blame game over who was responsible for an explosion that killed 500 people at a Gaza hospital.
The fallout resulted in the abandonment of plans for a summit of Arab leaders in Jordan, undermining some of the objectives of Biden’s trip.
Instead, he used his speech in Tel Aviv to reiterate US support for an eventual Palestinian state and announce $100 million in aid for Gaza and the West Bank.
He also warned Israel against letting anger guide its response.
“You cannot look at what happened here to mothers and fathers, grandparents, sons, daughters, children and even babies without crying out for justice,” he said.
‘Justice must be done.
“But I caution this: While you feel that anger, don’t let it consume you. After September 11, we were outraged in the United States.
“While we sought and received justice, we also made mistakes.”
President Joe Biden will be greeted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon his arrival on Israeli soil on Wednesday morning. He finds himself at the heart of a growing storm
President Joe Biden shakes Dr. Jordanna Hadas Link hands during a meeting with Israeli first responders, family members and other civilians directly affected by the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, in Tel Aviv
His words reflected a delicate balancing act. While he has expressed full support for Israel as the country prepares for a ground invasion of Gaza, U.S. officials know the rising number of civilian casualties would play into the hands of groups like Hamas and their Iranian sponsors who want to fuel a broader conflict.
But he pledged to keep Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system fully supplied.
“My government has been in close contact with your leadership from the first moments of this attack. We are going to make sure you get what you need to protect your people and your nation,” he said.
‘For decades. we have secured Israel’s qualitative military edge and later this week I will ask the US Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense.”
He came at a time of great tension in the Middle East.
Israel has been on a war footing since thousands of Hamas gunmen poured out of Gaza and launched a wave of killings on October 7. The country has continued a steady bombardment of Gaza as it prepares for a likely ground invasion.
But protests against Israeli actions have increased as the death toll has risen.
They exploded on Tuesday evening when a blast ripped through al-Ahli hospital, killing around 500 people.
Israel insists it was caused by a failed missile launched by Islamic Jihad, and Biden said he had seen data supporting Israeli claims of innocence.
At the same time, Iran’s proxy militia has continued rocket fire along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon — a reminder of how regional players can try to spark a broader war.
Biden’s mission was to stand with Israel while trying to deter outside actors from escalating tensions and easing hardship in Gaza.
He said he has discussed with the Israeli cabinet the need to allow aid, provided it goes to civilians and not to Hamas.
“Israel agreed that humanitarian aid can move from Egypt to Gaza,” he said.