President Joe Biden, on Friday, decided to soften his pro-Israel messaging.
Biden did so, according to CNN, during a speech that he gave in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biden was there to speak with the families of those Americans who remain unaccounted for following Hamas' attack on Israel.
Accordingly, it was probably not the time for Biden to show any weakness. It was probably not the time to do anything other than stand firmly behind Israel and against the Palestinians.
Biden, however, did decide to show weakness.
Biden showed weakness, at one point in his speech, by coming to the defense of the Pelestianian people.
"We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas," Biden said, adding, "They’re suffering as a result as well."
BIDEN, just now striking a vastly different tone than the Israeli President Herzog: “We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas.” pic.twitter.com/OUrGahn6ZD
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) October 13, 2023
The comment made by Biden, above, is a controversial one. The following statement from Israeli President Isaac Herzog helps to explain why.
On Friday, Herzog said:
It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat.
Many have argued, like Herzog, that the people of Palestine are, at least, indirectly responsible for Hamas' actions by not doing more to stop them.
It is important to clarify, as Herzog did, that he is not saying that the people of Palestine, because of their indirect involvement in Hamas' attack, are fair targets in the Israel-Palestine war. Rather, he is simply arguing - unlike Biden - that many of the people of Palestine are not 100% innocent.
Considering that the remark is controversial, it was probably best of Biden not to make it at a time when he is speaking to the families of Americans unaccounted for as a result of Hamas' attack. At such a time, no weakness ought to be shown.
To Biden's credit, he has, for the most part, stood behind Israel, following Hamas's attack. He clearly knows that, from a political standpoint this is the right thing to do. But, his problem is that he also has to appease those leftists in his party who do not necessary stand 100% behind Israel.
Still, it is probably safe to say that this was the wrong place and the wrong time for Biden to do so.