President Biden said that there has been “no shift” in his commitment to Israel and that the Democratic Party still supports the Jewish state, despite heated and sometimes vitriolic criticism of Israel over the past ten days by progressives.
Biden was asked in a news conference Friday with South Korean President Moon Jae-In what his “message to Democrats who want you to be more confrontational with Israel.”
“My party still supports Israel,” Biden said. “Until the region says unequivocally they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace.”
He again called for a two-state solution in the region. “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all. But I’ll tell you what there is a shift in. The shift is that, we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer.”
Press secretary Jen Psaki had offered a similar sentiment hours earlier. She said the White House has “no plans” to alter security assistance to Israel, as progressives came down hard against a $735 million arms sale to the Jewish state and the billions allotted in foreign aid each year.
Biden recently approved the arms sale to Israel. He has repeatedly stressed Israel’s right to defend itself and reiterated that Hamas is a terrorist organization. But he has also pressured Israel to accept a cease-fire.
Israel and Hamas signed a cease-fire Thursday night after 11 days of fighting, where a dozen Israelis and over 230 Palestinians lost their lives.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced a resolution Thursday to force a vote on whether to block the weapons sale to Israel. Progressive “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., introduced similar legislation in the House. “We must also take a hard look at nearly $4 billion a year in military aid to Israel,” Sanders wrote in a tweet.
Black Lives Matter declared “solidarity with Palestinians” this week.
“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians,” the group tweeted. “We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. ( always have. And always will be ). #freepalestine.”
The Democratic Socialists of America issued a statement of support for Palestinians last week, condemning the “ongoing ethnic cleansing” it suggests Israel is engaged in.