President Biden expressed support for a “pause” in Israel’s war against Hamas Wednesday — after a heckler demanding a ceasefire interrupted his remarks during a campaign reception in Minneapolis.
“Mr. President, if you care about Jewish people, as a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now,” the heckler, who identified herself as Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, shouted.
She was jeered by most of the 200-person crowd and escorted out by security, however, Biden responded by voicing his most full-throated support yet for a temporary de-escalation in Israel’s military campaign to rid the Gaza Strip of Hamas terrorists.
“I think we need a pause,” the 80-year-old said in response to the interruption.
“A pause means give time to get the prisoners out.”
The commander-in-chief went on to claim that he persuaded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “call for a ceasefire” earlier in the conflict to allow hostages being held by Hamas to be released.
“I’m the guy that convinced Bibi to call for a ceasefire to let the prisoners out,” he said. “I’m the guy that talked to [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi] to convince him to open the door.
“I understand the emotion,” he added after Rosenberg was removed.
“This is incredibly complicated for the Israelis. It’s incredibly complicated for the Muslim world as well. I supported a two-state solution. I have from the very beginning,” he continued. “The fact of the matter is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. A flat-out terrorist organization.”
The heckler sang “ceasefire now” as she was removed from the event.
Biden said last week that he would not consider backing a ceasefire in Israel until all the hostages had been released.
The State Department has also rejected the idea of a ceasefire, arguing that it would hurt Israel’s ability to defend itself from continued terrorist threats.
“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 told reporters last week.
Last week, Israel reportedly agreed to consider delaying its ground invasion of Gaza to allow hostage talks to continue.
The Biden administration is said to be at the forefront of the cautious approach, worried that Israel doesn’t have an attainable military goal.
“Both Israel and the Biden administration want to exhaust every effort to try and get hostages out of Gaza,” an unidentified senior Israeli official told Axios.
“If Hamas proposes a big package, of course, we will be ready to do things in return,” said the official, stressing that Israel’s plans for a ground assault would only be delayed, not dropped.
Several far-left lawmakers, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and pro-Palestinian protesters have been demanding a ceasefire for weeks.
The United Nations has also passed a nonbinding resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza.
Israel declared war against Hamas in response to the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on the Jewish state which left more than 1,400 dead.