Biden Lauds Schumer’s Critique of Netanyahu in Speech

The President offered praise for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to it as an “excellent oration,” though he refrained from providing additional comments.

The President made known on Friday that the White House was notified ahead of Schumer’s speech where the top-ranking Jewish elected official from New York dubbed Netanyahu a “major barrier to peace”, stating that his focus of politics had undermined the best interests of Israel.

“In his eagerness to turn a blind eye to the civilian casualties in Gaza, he has sidelined the global support for Israel to a historic low,” Schumer articulated during his speech on Thursday on the Senate floor. He iterated that Israel could not persist if it were ostracized.

Schumer, a long-standing Israel advocate, also urged the Israeli government to push for a new election, claiming that a substantial number of Israelis had lost faith in their government and that this was the “only means to facilitate a vibrant and transparent decision-making process concerning Israel’s future.

“I will not delve into details of the speech,” was the President’s response to reporters. “It was a commendable one, in which he voiced major concerns, reflecting the sentiment of not only him but many Americans as well.”

In retaliation to the Oct. 7 terrorist attack led by Hamas, the President has supported Israel’s right to self-defense, but has been increasingly critical of Netanyahu’s handling of both the humanitarian disaster and rising civilian death toll in Gaza. This is coupled with growing calls from Democrats for the halt of Israel’s armament due to its conduct during the conflict with Hamas. 

The White House National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, clarified on Friday that the President was not advocating for new elections. 
“The decision lies in the hands of the Israeli public,” Kirby stated, noting that Schumer’s comments resonated with a number of Americans. 
“Our role sees us supporting Israel in their conflict with Hamas,” Kirby asserted. “We will continue to insist they decrease civilian casualties, and continue our work towards securing a temporary cease-fire so hostages can be returned to their families and further assistance can be distributed to the people of Gaza.”