Biden supports Schumer’s call for new Israeli elections, calling it a ‘good speech’

President Joe Biden commended Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s unexpected comments advocating for new elections in Israel. This comes shortly after the New York Democrat expressed his belief that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was hindering progress towards peace in the region. Biden’s endorsement of Schumer’s stance demonstrates a potential shift in the United States’ approach to Israeli politics.

During an Oval Office meeting with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who is on his traditional St. Patrick’s Day visit to Washington, Mr. Biden was questioned about the Senate leader’s comments.

The president responded by stating that Mr. Schumer had contacted a “senior staffer” at the White House before his Senate floor speech on Thursday. However, the president did not provide any further details about the conversation with the majority leader.

According to him, the speech delivered was commendable, expressing a genuine concern that resonates not only with him but also with numerous Americans.

Shortly after, Mr. Varadkar brought attention to the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza as he expressed his concerns to Mr. Biden. He emphasized the urgent need for a ceasefire, stating, “In order to provide much-needed food and medicine and to secure the release of hostages, we must establish a ceasefire as quickly as possible.”

“We should discuss the steps we can take to make that a reality and progress towards a two-state solution,” he emphasized.

Joe Biden responded by saying, “I agree.”

On Thursday, Mr. Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish-American to ever hold a US elected office, addressed the Senate floor. He stated that he was speaking on behalf of a “silent majority” of American Jews who possess “nuanced views” regarding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

While acknowledging the presence of hostile adversaries surrounding Israel and emphasizing the enduring challenges and oppression faced by the Jewish people throughout history, the Senate leader emphasizes the need for substantial changes in Israel’s approach. These changes are essential to attain a sustainable peace and guarantee the well-being, prosperity, and security of both the Jewish and Palestinian populations in the Middle East.

There are four main obstacles to a two-state peace process, according to the speaker. These include extremist right-wing Israelis, Hamas militants and Palestinians who tolerate them, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and Mr. Netanyahu.

John Kirby, the White House National Security Communications Adviser, informed reporters on Thursday that the administration received prior notice regarding Mr. Schumer’s remarks. However, Kirby emphasized that the communication with the Senate leader did not involve approval, disapproval, or any form of editing.

“We understand that Leader Schumer has a strong conviction regarding this matter… Our main priority is to ensure that Israel has the necessary resources to protect itself, while also taking every possible measure to prevent harm to civilians. Additionally, we remain fully committed to our goal of establishing a temporary ceasefire to secure the release of hostages and provide further assistance,” he expressed.

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