Biden praises US senate leader’s speech calling for Israel elections

President Joe Biden commended a speech by US Senate leader urging new elections in Israel, citing widespread American concerns regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the Gaza conflict.

The address from Democratic Senate majority chief Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking elected Jewish American in history, marked the most forceful criticism of Israel by a senior US official since Hamas’s attacks on October 7.

“Senator Schumer delivered a compelling speech, reflecting serious concerns shared not only by him but by many Americans,” remarked Biden in response to inquiries about the speech following a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House.

Biden revealed that Schumer had informed his staff about the forthcoming remarks and opted not to delve further into the speech’s details.

Schumer’s remarks coincide with increased pressure from Biden on Netanyahu to lessen Palestinian casualties in Gaza and allow more aid into the area amid looming famine.

“Israel, as a democracy, possesses the right to select its leaders, and we should let the electoral process unfold. However, what matters most is ensuring Israelis have a choice,” stated Schumer.

“There must be a fresh dialogue about Israel’s future post-October 7.”

Schumer also identified Netanyahu as one of four “major obstacles” to peace, alongside Hamas, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and radical right-wing Israelis, accusing the Israeli leader of aligning with extremists.

During discussions with Varadkar, who has himself voiced strong criticisms of Israel regarding the Gaza conflict, Biden concurred on the necessity for a ceasefire.

“We need a ceasefire promptly to facilitate the delivery of food and medicine and to secure the release of hostages,” noted Varadkar, with Biden nodding in agreement.

“We must explore avenues to achieve that and advance towards a two-state solution.”

Donning an emerald green tie to mark Ireland’s Saint Patrick’s Day holiday, Biden acknowledged that “a lot more needs to be done” regarding aid for Gaza.

When asked by reporters for his thoughts on Hamas’s proposal for a six-week truce in Gaza and an exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners, Biden crossed his fingers for luck but refrained from offering a comment.

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