President Biden’s strong backing of Israel and his response to its war with terrorist organization Hamas speaks to the mainstream of the Democratic Party and the majority of Americans, according to supporters of the president, despite progressive Democrats publicly opposing the administration’s rejection of a cease-fire.
Multiple Biden allies told Fox News Digital that the administration’s stance against a cease-fire protects Americans and national security interests at home and abroad.
Nearly a dozen Biden allies defended the president’s policies in interviews with Fox News Digital after more than 400 government officials within the administration signed onto a letter opposing the president’s handling of the war, and demanding a cease-fire.
Current Biden administration officials, former Obama administration officials, Democratic lawmakers and Jewish community leaders defended the administration’s Israel policy as the president faces criticism and widespread protests.
Biden administration officials claimed media coverage of the conflict has been”lopsided,” saying “there has been far more coverage of opposition to the president’s response and almost none about support.”
But just this week, more than 100 current and former government officials from both the Biden and Obama administrations came out in support of Biden’s policy. And tens of thousands attended the March for Israel rally at the National Mall in Washington in support of the administration’s policy and against a cease-fire. Earlier this month, two dozen veterans and military organizations signed onto a letter endorsing strong support for Israel.
“Those calling for a cease-fire represent the fringe rather than the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., told Fox News Digital. “A cease-fire would do nothing more than empower Hamas.”
“President Biden represents the mainstream of American politics. He speaks to the majority of Americans and the majority of Americans remain pro-Israel,” he continued. “The Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate are pro-Israel. The overwhelming majority of Democrats are pro-Israel.”
Torres added: “We’re taking our inspiration from the president. He is our standard-bearer. He is our leader.”
Over in the Senate, Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., also endorsed the president.
“President Biden has been putting on a master class of diplomacy when it comes to his handling of the Israel-Hamas war,” Fetterman said. “He is a steady hand at the wheel, and doing exactly what is needed in this time of crisis.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday showed 60% of Democrats approved of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war, while just 33% disapproved. That poll showed 7% of Democrats were undecided.
Meanwhile, from a national security standpoint, Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff at the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, told Fox News Digital that Biden’s policy has “prevented a wider regional war and protected America’s interests.”
“The president has handled this crisis exactly as we want a commander in chief to operate,” Bash said. “Those on the far left calling for a cease-fire are advocating that our ally Israel unilaterally disarm would be a terrible outcome for peace and stability. We wouldn’t do it ourselves – and we didn’t do it ourselves when we were fighting al Qaeda and ISIS. Nobody ever suggested to us that we engage in a cease-fire.”
Bash said Biden’s “strong backing” for Israel’s military operations is “exactly the right call.”
“Hamas is a radical terror organization that rapes women, kills children, and takes Americans hostage,” Bash said. “I don’t know why anybody would want to keep them in power, and those on the far left who are arguing for a cease-fire would do just that.”
Bash said even the Palestinian Authority “supports Israel’s campaign to dismantle Hamas.”
“So even if one believes that they are a champion of the Palestinian cause, they should be aligned with Israel and aligned with the approach that President Biden has taken to dismantle Hamas,” Bash said, while warning that if Hamas is able to “survive,” its “brand of terrorism would proliferate.”
Hamas would not hesitate to attack America or embassies, since the group killed 30 Americans in the Oct. 7 attack, took 10 more hostage, and views the U.S. as “the great Satan,” Bash said.
“If we allow a terrorist organization to attack Americans and get away with it, that threat will metastasize. And will eventually threaten our homeland,” Bash added.
The president’s policy also protects U.S. troops, said Allison Jaslow, the chief executive officer of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, an Iraq War veteran, and a former Obama administration official.
“The president is mindful of the fact that there are U.S. troops that are deployed in the broader region who are already being subjected to attacks. He doesn’t want those troops to be compromised even further,” Jaslow said.
The Pentagon said this week that there have been 56 attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since Oct. 17, with 59 U.S. personnel suffering either traumatic brain injury (TBI) or non-serious injuries.
As for those calling for a cease-fire, Jaslow said, “We’re not talking about a government. We are literally talking about a terrorist organization.”
“They are not going to negotiate and stick to any rules,” she explained. “We need to have eyes wide open about that.”
“As a soldier who has had to navigate a complex battlefield, where you can’t tell the difference between good guys and bad guys, and where you have to play by a certain set of rules, but there are other folks out there – other actors – who don’t have to play by those same rules – as a platoon leader in combat, that is a very stressful experience,” Jaslow continued. “I don’t have the luxury of naïveté.”
Jaslow said she “lived and breathed some of these dynamics in the Middle East region.”
“The folks who are standing on the moral high ground thinking that there is an easy or safe way out of the situation that we’re in right now that doesn’t compromise our values and our commitments to key partners abroad are not living in the same reality that I’m living in and have had to live in,” she said. “Cheers to the people who get to live in that ideal world, because I think they have lived, probably, a really privileged life.”
Jaslow added that those calling for a cease-fire are using “characterizations that are just completely over the top.”
“A state defending its borders or responding to an attack that they did not entice does not equate to genocide,” she said. “It just, objectively, does not.”
She also challenged the opponents of the president’s policy on whether they “agree with terrorism.”
“I’m not sure that they have had to respond to this,” she said. “Do they support Hamas and do they not want us to address the threat that they are? If they do want to address them as a threat, they need to be clear-eyed about what that might take.”
Despite standing firm against a cease-fire, Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to enact four-hour pauses of military operations each day in order to ensure humanitarian aid is able to make its way to residents who remain in Gaza, and to allow for civilians to take harbor or flee.
Netanyahu agreed, enacting those pauses last week. The Israeli Defense Forces also announce the pauses at least three hours before they begin, the White House said.
Biden allies blast ‘overly woke’ media coverage
But Biden administration officials said there has been “a disparity in coverage at a lot of mainstream media outlets” about the president’s policy and the war. The officials spoke to Fox News Digital on the condition of anonymity.
“Far left Democratic activists and their allies in the media fairly call out antisemitic signaling from the right wing, but were accommodating when [Rep. Rashida] Tlaib was signaling for the destruction of the Jewish state and when the left has been swapping out Zionists to say Jews,” a Biden administration official told Fox News Digital. “The media should do their jobs and stop selectively reading the tea leaves when it will fit what’s cool on their Ivy League alma mater’s campus.”
Another administration official told Fox News Digital that Biden’s actions since Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel on Oct. 7 have been “a shining example of clear presidential leadership.”
“While it is important to cover dissent, much of the mainstream press seems to be on a mission to erase those of us who support the president,” the official said.
“The media’s reporting on the cease-fire is completely unserious,” a congressional Democratic aide told Fox News Digital. “Last time I checked, you need two sides to do a cease-fire and the other side says they are going to destroy the state of Israel and attack again and again and again.”
The aide said a cease-fire is just a “catchy term” and “is not a real proposal,” while bashing the media, saying the reporting on activist calls is “naive and overly woke.”
“Maybe if one more member of Congress calls for a cease-fire, Hamas will agree – but I’m skeptical,” the aide said sarcastically.
The officials and aides also pointed to political pundits claiming that the president’s policy could negatively impact his 2024 re-election campaign, saying he is losing key minority support.
But Jim Messina, who ran former President Barack Obama’s successful 2012 re-election campaign, told Fox News Digital that the president is on solid footing.
“Biden is doing the right thing by standing with Israel as it responds to terrorists who say they want to commit more October 7ths, and by focusing on humanitarian aid for the Palestinians who Hamas is deliberately putting in harm’s way,” Messina told Fox News Digital. “A majority of Americans support the president.”
When asked for comment, the White House said “fighting against the poison of antisemitism and standing up for Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself have always been core values for President Biden. And they always will be.”
“Immediately after the ‘unadulterated evil’ of the most horrific terrorist attack in Israel’s history and the worst mass murder of Jewish people since the Holocaust, President Biden took decisive action to help Israel protect itself against Hamas. He is also working every day to prioritize the needs of the Palestinian people – the vast majority of whom have nothing to do with Hamas – by securing humanitarian aid, working to alleviate suffering in Gaza, and urging Israel to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties as they root out Hamas,” White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital. “President Biden is committed to the dignity of all Americans, to seeing every community, and opposing every form of hate, whether it is antisemitism, Islamophobia, or any other dangerous and unacceptable prejudice.”
Jewish Americans praise Biden’s policies
Jewish Americans “have a deep reservoir of appreciation for what President Biden has done for Israel in this moment,” Torres said.
The CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, Halie Soifer, who previously served as a national security adviser to then-Sen. Kamala Harris and a senior policy adviser in the Obama administration, praised Biden’s unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’ horrific acts of terror.
“He has demonstrated this in both word and deed – his actions actually speak louder than words, though his words have been powerful as well,” Soifer said.
Soifer told Fox News Digital that she was part of the group of Jewish American leaders that met with Biden at the White House on Oct. 11.
“The emotion in the room was palpable because the president demonstrated that his commitment to Israel’s security and that of the Jewish community runs deep,” she said.
Soifer also praised the president for being the first United States president to travel to Israel during wartime; his pledge for an “unprecedented amount of aid” to Israel; and his efforts to “deter bad actors, including Iran, from getting involved in this crisis.”
“But perhaps most importantly, he has continued to reassure the Jewish community that he stands with us amid this crisis,” she said, citing the administration’s actions to combat antisemitism.
Eric Lesser, a former Massachusetts state senator and former Obama White House aide, said his personal interactions with World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors connected him to a “living memory of how quickly antisemitic rhetoric can turn violent” – a connection that younger generations of Americans may lack.
Lesser said Biden is doing “what any American president needs to do, which is to stand by our ally in line with humanitarian requirements; and at home in the U.S., he’s making it crystal clear that persecuted and vulnerable minorities will be protected, and antisemitism won’t be tolerated.”
“Sometimes partnership is not as evident until it is tested,” Soifer added. “And if Oct. 7 was the test, Joe Biden has more than exceeded even the highest expectations.”
Soifer added: “He has established a policy that supersedes political divides.”