Biden appears to reject Dem demands for immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, says hostages must be released first

 October 25, 2023

A number of far-left progressive Democrats have called upon President Joe Biden to pressure Israel into accepting a proposed ceasefire of its military response in Gaza to the barbaric atrocities committed in an Oct. 7 wave of murderous terror attacks in southern Israel by Hamas terrorists, ostensibly in order to facilitate the release of hostages seized by Hamas and the provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

On Monday, Biden indicated that he would not support any talk of a ceasefire agreement until after the hostages taken by Hamas had been set free, USA Today reported.

There was some momentary confusion about Biden's stance in that regard, however, as he uttered a gaffe and mistakenly seemed to suggest that he did support the calls for an immediate ceasefire before swiftly catching and correcting his erroneous remark.

Biden suggests ceasefire talks can wait until after hostages are released

President Biden delivered a brief speech on Monday at the White House about his economic agenda but also took a couple of shouted questions from reporters at the end, including from one journalist who asked, "Is the U.S. supporting the hostages-for-a-ceasefire deal?"

That proposal would involve a temporary cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, facilitated by the president, in order to allow for the safe release of more than 200 hostages captured by Hamas on Oct. 7, including an unknown number of American citizens, as well as the delivery of humanitarian supplies for the Palestinian people in Gaza.

In response to the reporter's question, Biden said, "We should get the -- we should have a ceasefire -- not a ceasefire, we should have those hostages released, and then we can talk."

State Department appears to also reject calls for immediate ceasefire

USA Today reported that, President Biden's momentary slip-up aside, he seemed to clearly indicate that no discussions about a proposed ceasefire would occur until after Hamas had released its hostages.

The outlet noted that Biden's State Department appeared to be on the same page in rejecting the proposed immediate cessation of hostilities, given that such an arrangement would obviously benefit Hamas while hampering Israel.

"Any ceasefire would give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit, and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said. "You can understand perfectly clearly why that’s an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack."

Thus far, it appears that Hamas has released four hostages, including an American mother and daughter on Friday and two Israeli women on Monday.

Democrats split on supporting Israel or Hamas

The Hill reported last week that a number of far-left progressive Democrats, including several who are openly hostile toward Israel, demanded that President Biden pressure the Jewish nation to immediately halt its military response in Gaza to the horrific Hamas attacks.

That demand was countered just a few days later by 131 House Democrats, more than half its caucus, including all 24 Jewish House Democrats, who expressed solidarity with Biden's stated support for Israel's self-defense and efforts to root out and utterly destroy Hamas, according to The Times of Israel.

Those Democrats wrote in a letter to Biden, "We stand with you in supporting Israel and are ready to provide whatever assistance the state and people of Israel need to defend themselves and to ensure that hostages return home and those who perpetrated these crimes against humanity are held accountable."

Notably without a demand for a ceasefire, however, those Democrats also expressed their support for providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and issued a reminder that Israel, while justified in responding militarily to the Hamas attacks, nonetheless needed to do so "in accordance with international law and our shared democratic values."

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