Biden to address nation on Israel, Ukraine  

The president is planning to ask Congress for an additional year-long aid package worth $100 billion that would include funding for Israel, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific countries including Taiwan…reports Asian Lite News

President Biden will deliver an address to the nation from the Oval Office on Thursday about the recent Hamas attacks against Israel and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the White House said.

“Tomorrow, President Biden will address the nation to discuss our response to Hamas’ attacks against Israel and Russia’s ongoing brutal war against Ukraine,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement, adding that the speech will be broadcast from the Oval Office at 8 p.m. ET.

Biden is returning to Washington after a brief trip to Israel on Wednesday, where he met with Israeli leaders to show support for the key US ally after the Oct. 7 attacks that killed more than 1,400 people. He also stressed the need to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Hamas-controlled Gaza, and said on Air Force One that Egypt had agreed to allow a convoy of trucks with supplies to enter the blockaded territory.

The president is planning to ask Congress for an additional year-long aid package worth $100 billion that would include funding for Israel, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific countries including Taiwan, as well as measures to boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The US has sent tens of billions of dollars’ worth of aid and weapons to Ukraine to help in their fight against Russia, but the White House has warned that additional support could soon be delayed without action from Congress. Ukraine aid has been a sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, most recently in the fight over avoiding a government shutdown. Many GOP lawmakers object to sending Kyiv more assistance without stricter oversight of where the money and weapons are going.

An emergency aid package for Israel, meanwhile, has attracted broad bipartisan support. House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have stressed the urgency behind electing a new speaker of the House who can bring a bill to the floor to provide funding for Israel. That effort stalled again on Wednesday, when Rep. Jim Jordan fell short of the votes needed to capture the speaker’s gavel for the second time.

The president most recently addressed the nation from the Oval Office in June, when he hailed passage of a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

Public opinion however, has been mixed on the conflicts.

In a recent CNN poll, nearly all respondents were sympathetic with the Israeli people in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks, but there was no clear consensus on the right level of American involvement.

One-third (35 per cent) said the US is providing the right amount of assistance and another 36 per cent were unsure whether the level of American assistance is appropriate.

As part of Washington’s security assistance with Israel, th Jewish nation receives roughly $4 billion annually under a 10-year memorandum of understanding. In contrast, support to sustain aid to Ukraine has waned significantly.

An August CNN poll found 55 per cent of respondents said Congress should not pass more funding to aid Ukraine. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans opposed more funding for Ukraine, while 62 per cent of Democrats supported it.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the White House and Congress have provided more than $75 billion in funding to Kiev. The Biden administration in August delivered its last supplemental funding request, which encapsulates unique requests beyond traditional government programs.

The proposal requested $24.1 billion to aid Ukraine through the end of the year, but Congress failed to approve it during a process to greenlight short-term federal funding, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Sky News, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that the US could afford financing two wars at once.

“American(s) can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs, and we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia,” Yellen was quoted as saying.

Tlaib accuses Biden admin of ‘genocide’

Meanwhile, US lawmaker Rashida Tlaib has accused the Joe Biden administration of funding a “genocide” against Palestinians and put the onus on Israeli military for bombing a hospital in Gaza, Fox News reported.

Rep Tlaib, the sole Palestinian American in the US Congress while addressing a pro-Parlestine rally on Capitol Hill on Wednesday broke down into tears and called for a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

“That’s what’s been really painful — just continue to watch people think it’s okay to bomb a hospital where children. You know, what’s so hard sometimes is watching those videos and the people telling the kids, ‘Don’t cry.’ But like, let them cry! And they’re shaking, and somebody — you know this — they keep telling them not to cry in Arabic. They can cry, I can cry, we all can cry. If we’re not crying, something is wrong,” Tlaib said.

“I’m telling you right now President Biden, not all America is with you on this one. And you need to wake up and understand that,” she added. “We are literally watching people commit genocide and killing a vast majority… and we still stand by and say nothing. We will remember this.”

ALSO READ: Sisi, Biden Commit To Ongoing Gaza Aid via Rafah

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