Biden touts US leadership in speech urging billions in military aid for Israel and Ukraine

Washington DC - President Joe Biden urged the US to show global leadership by backing Israel and Ukraine, saying in a speech from the Oval Office Thursday that defeating Hamas and Russia was a vital US interest.

US President Joe Biden called for US support for Israel and Ukraine in a televised address from the Oval Office.
US President Joe Biden called for US support for Israel and Ukraine in a televised address from the Oval Office.  © REUTERS

Biden said he would make an "urgent" request to Congress on Friday for funding to help Ukraine and Israel, arguing that this was an investment for the United States' future on the world stage for decades to come.

"American leadership is what holds the world together," Biden said in just the second primetime speech to the nation of his presidency from behind the historic Resolute Desk.

Hamas and Russian President Vladimir Putin "represent different threats, but they share this in common: they both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy," he added.

Does Trump have enough money to post massive bond in NY fraud trial?
Donald Trump Does Trump have enough money to post massive bond in NY fraud trial?

"We cannot and will not let terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin win. I refuse to let that happen."

Fresh from a trip to Israel this week, the Democratic president wants to win over war-weary voters and hardline Republicans as he ramps up his 2024 reelection bid.

His 15-minute speech was a call to Americans to overcome deep political divisions and unite behind support for two vastly different conflicts that he said posed a critical threat to the US despite being an ocean away.

Biden condemns antisemitism and Islamophobia

Biden wants Congress to pass an aid package worth more than $100 billion that includes military support for Israel and Ukraine.
Biden wants Congress to pass an aid package worth more than $100 billion that includes military support for Israel and Ukraine.  © REUTERS

"We can't let petty partisan angry politics get in the way of our responsibility as a great nation," Biden said.

"America is a beacon to the world. Still. Still," he insisted.

He also called for an end to a surge in both antisemitism and Islamophobia in the US, especially after the killing of six-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume, the victim of an alleged hate crime linked to the Israel-Gaza war.

Alexei Navalny's thoughts on Trump re-election revealed in letter: "Really scary"
Donald Trump Alexei Navalny's thoughts on Trump re-election revealed in letter: "Really scary"

"To all of you hurting, I want you to know, I see you," said Biden, who also revealed that he spoke to the Al-Fayoume family. "You're all American."

The White House is said to be teeing up a huge request to Congress for a package of more than $100 billion. The package includes $60 billion in weapons for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, the New York Times reported.

It also includes $7 billion in security assistance for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region to counter threats from China, $14 billion for security on the southern US border with Mexico and $10 billion in humanitarian aid for conflict zones, it said.

Biden said the money was a "smart investment that's going to pay dividends for American security for generations."

But Congress has now been paralyzed for more than two weeks as divided Republicans, who hold the majority in the House, fail repeatedly to agree on electing a new speaker after ousting Kevin McCarthy.

Israel, meanwhile, has been pounding Gaza for two weeks as UN experts warn of "a risk of genocide against the Palestine people."

Cover photo: REUTERS

More on Joe Biden: