President Joe Biden recalled his own 1972 family tragedy as he praised Israelis who responded to the horrific Hamas attack.
He opened up about his own trauma in a conversation with Dr. Jordanna Hadas Koppel. It was one of several organized discussions the president had with first responders and those who lost loved ones in the October 7 attacks.
She described receiving a phone call to prepare for a “mass casualty event,” something she said she could never have prepared for.
She says she has treated soldiers, civilians, “but especially children”.
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Dr. Jordanna Hadas Koppel, during a meeting with Israeli first responders, family members and other citizens directly affected by the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, in Tel Aviv, Israel, October 18, 2023. REUTERS /Evelyn Hockstein
“Some babies have burned in their mothers’ arms, some have told stories that I don’t think they will ever recover from,” she said.
“I look after Palestinian children, I look after Jewish children,
When my resident calls me at home in the evening to tell me that someone is not well, I don’t ask him where they are from.
Biden spoke about the 1972 car crash that injured his young sons Beau and Hunter and killed his wife Neilia and son Naomi.
Tragedy is an important part of Biden’s life story and he talks about it often
Biden spoke about his own tragic past while meeting with first responders in Israel
Biden, speaking almost in a whisper, told her about his own family tragedy fifty years ago.
“I got a phone call saying my wife and daughter were dead,” Biden said.
Biden thanked her and spoke about the medical professionals who cared for her young sons, Beau and Hunter.
“Nurses, nurses,” he said.
The event occurred during part of Biden’s rushed visit, during which he hoped to connect with Israelis and show solidarity during the national suffering after the attack.
He told the story of his brief meeting with the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier fifty years ago.
He also had a moving conversation with Eli Beer and the first Israeli speaker who was close to tears as he described what he witnessed after the attack.
The remarks came as Biden said he had seen intelligence indicating that Israel was not behind the hospital explosion in Gaza that left hundreds dead.
“From what I’ve seen, it looks like this was done by the other team, not you,” Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting. He added that “many people” were unsure of the cause of the explosion, sparking massive protests.