Joe Biden defines US's role in Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine conflicts - Hindustan Times
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Joe Biden defines US's role in Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine conflicts: 10 key takeaways

Oct 20, 2023 11:29 AM IST

Encapsulating the major points from Joe Biden's speech on his stance and the U.S.'s role in the Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine conflicts.

US President Joe Biden addressed the nation after his risky wartime visit to Israel and made clear his government's views and role in the ongoing conflict in the area. Here are 10 key takeaways from the historic visit.

US President Joe Biden addresses the nation on the conflict between Israel and Gaza and the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2023. (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST / POOL / AFP)(AFP)
US President Joe Biden addresses the nation on the conflict between Israel and Gaza and the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2023. (Photo by JONATHAN ERNST / POOL / AFP)(AFP)

Historical Significance

Biden emphasized the critical juncture in history, stating that present actions will shape the future for decades. ‘We’re facing an inflection point in history. One of those moments where the decisions we make today are going to determine the future for decades to come.’

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Support for Israel

He expressed solid support for Israel amidst the conflict with Hamas, and conveyed the U.S. commitment to Israel's security through military assistance. “Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people. Hamas uses Palestinian civilians as human shields, and innocent Palestinian families are suffering greatly because of them.”

Horrors of War

The President recounted the horrors faced by civilians in both Israel and Ukraine, mentioning the toll of Hamas' attack on October 7 in Israel, and the atrocities committed in Ukraine by Russian forces. “Scores of innocents from infants to the elderly, grandparents, Israelis, Americans taken hostage. As I told the families of Americans being held captive by Hamas, we’re pursuing every avenue to bring their loved ones home. As president, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage.”

Global Repercussions of Aggression

Biden highlighted the global repercussions if aggressors like terrorists and dictators are not held accountable, suggesting a domino effect that might spread chaos and conflict worldwide. “We’ve not forgotten the mass graves, the bodies found bearing signs of torture, rape used as a weapon by the Russians, and thousands and thousands of Ukrainian children forcibly taken into Russia, stolen from their parents. It’s sick.”

Support for Ukraine

He reaffirmed the U.S.'s support for Ukraine, emphasizing military aid to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. “Putin denies Ukraine has, or ever had, real statehood. He claims the Soviet Union created Ukraine. And just two weeks ago, he told the world that if the United States and our allies withdraw — and if the United States withdraws, our allies will as well — military support for Ukraine would have, quote, a week left to live.”

NATO's Role

Biden underscored the importance of NATO in maintaining peace in Europe and asserted that the U.S. would defend NATO allies against any aggression"For 75 years, NATO has kept peace in Europe. And has been the cornerstone of American security. And if Putin attacks a NATO ally, we will defend every inch of NATO, which a treaty requires and calls for."

Condemnation of Hamas and Putin

He condemned both Hamas and Putin for their threats to democracies, drawing a parallel between their destructive intentions despite representing different types of threats. “Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common. They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy — completely annihilate it.”

Humanitarian Aid and Peace Efforts

The President mentioned securing agreements for humanitarian aid to Gaza and emphasized the continuous pursuit of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.

Domestic Reflection and Unity

He called for domestic unity against hate, racism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, urging Americans to uphold the values of religious freedom and expression. “As I said in Israel, as hard as it is, we cannot give up on peace. We cannot give up on a two-state solution. Israel and Palestinians equally deserve to live in safety, dignity and peace. You know, and here at home we have to be honest with ourselves. In recent years, too much hate has given too much oxygen, fueling racism, a rise in antisemitism, Islamic-phobia, right here in America.”

American Leadership

Biden stressed the pivotal role of American leadership and alliances in global stability, advocating for continued support to allies and reiterating the U.S.'s position as an indispensable nation. "American leadership is what holds the world together. American alliances are what keep us, America, safe. American values are what make us a partner that other nations want to work with. To put all that at risk if we walk away from Ukraine, if we turn our backs on Israel, it’s just not worth it.

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