Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO
Expanded meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv on October 18 2023

US President Joe Biden reiterated his promise on Wednesday to provide Israel with “everything you need” to eliminate the scourge of Gaza’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.


Following their private meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Biden held an expanded meeting in Tel Aviv with their respective staffs.

“This will be a different kind of war because Hamas is a different kind of enemy. While Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties, Hamas seeks to maximize civilian casualties,” Netanyahu told Biden.

“Hamas wants to kill as many Israelis as possible and has no regard whatsoever to Palestinian lives. Every day, they perpetrate a double war crime: targeting our civilians while hiding behind their civilians, embedding themselves in the civilian population and using them as human shields.”

Attending for the Israeli side: Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, Minister Gadi Eisenkot, MK Aryeh Deri, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Tzachi Braverman, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil and US Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog.

Attending for the US side: Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Presidential Deputy Assistant and National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and Acting US Ambassador to Israel Stephanie Hallett.”

Following is the full text of the remarks delivered by both leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Mr. President – Joe — I want to thank you for coming here
today and for the unequivocal support you have given Israel during these trying times, a support that reflects the overwhelming will of the American people.

I’ve seen your support every day in the depth and breadth of cooperation that we have had since the beginning of this war, a level of cooperation that is truly unprecedented in the history of the great alliance between our two nations.

We see that support in your steadfast commitment to provide Israel with the tools we need to defend ourselves.

We see that support in the clear message you’ve sent our enemies not to test our resolve and in the two American carrier battle groups that you sent to the region to back up those words with action.

But above all Mr. President the world sees that support and the moral clarity that you have demonstrated from the moment Israel was attacked.

You’ve rightly drawn a clear line between the forces of civilization and the forces of barbarism.

You describe what Hamas did as sheer evil; it is exactly that.

Hamas murdered children in front of their parents and parents in front of their children. They burnt people alive. They raped and murdered women. They beheaded soldiers. They searched for the secret hiding places where parents hid their children and just imagine Mr. President the fear and the panic of those little children in their last moments as the monsters discovered, found out, their hiding places.

Hamas kidnapped women, children, elderly Holocausts survivors. I know you share our outrage on this, and I know you share our determination to bring these people back.

On October 7th Hamas murdered 1400 Israelis, maybe more — this is in a country of fewer than 10 million people.

This would be equivalent to over 50,000 Americans murdered in a single day. That’s twenty 9/11s.

That’s why October 7th is another day that will live in infamy.

Mr. President you rightly said that Hamas is worse than ISIS. The German chancellor who visited here yesterday said that Hamas were the new Nazis.

You’re both right and just as a civilized world united to defeat the Nazis and united to defeat ISIS, the civilized world must unite to defeat Hamas.

I can assure you Mr. President, Israel is united to defeat Hamas and we will defeat Hamas and remove this terrible threat from our lives.

The forces of civilization will prevail for our sake, for your sake, for peace and security in our region and in the world.

Mr. President, for the people of Israel there’s only one thing better than having a true friend like you standing with Israel — and that is having you standing in Israel.

Your visit here is the first visit of an American president in Israel at a time of war. It is deeply, deeply moving. It speaks to the depth of your personal commitment to Israel. It speaks to the depth of your personal commitment to the future of the Jewish people and the one and only Jewish state — so I know I speak for all the people of Israel when I say thank you Mr. President.

Thank you for standing with Israel today, tomorrow and always.”

US President Joe Biden

“Mr. Prime Minister thank you very much.

Look, folks, I wanted to be here today for a simple reason: I want the people of Israel – the people of the world – to know where the United States stands.

I’ve had my great secretary of state here; he’s been here for a lot but I wanted to personally come and make that clear.

The terrorist group Hamas has slaughtered, as has been pointed out, over 1,300 people and that’s not hyperbole: just slaughtered. Slaughtered.

And including 31 Americans as part of that.

And they’ve taken scores of people hostage, including children.

You said, ‘Imagine what those children hiding from Hamas were thinking.’

It’s beyond my comprehension to be able to imagine what they were thinking; beyond my comprehension.

They committed evils and atrocities that make ISIS look somewhat more rational.

You know Americans are grieving with you, they really are. And Americans are worried.

Americans are worried because we know there’s a . . . this is not an easy field to navigate what you have to do.

But the fact is that Israel as they respond to these attacks it seems to me that we have to continue to ensure that you have what you need to defend yourselves and we’re going to make sure that occurs as you know.

And we have to also bear in mind that Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people and it has brought them only suffering.

You know years ago I asked the secretary of state when he and I were working in the Senate to write something
for me and he said he wrote a line that I think is appropriate.

He said, ‘It’s not we lead, not just … we I won’t go into it, I’ll wait until later, taking too much time, but the point is this: that I’m deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.

But there’s a lot of people out there who are not sure so we’ve got a lot – we’ve got to overcome a lot of things.

And it also means encouraging life-saving capacity to help the Palestinians who are innocent, caught in the middle of this.

Well, anyway, that’s who we are not just me, but I mean that’s who the United States is.

And it’s not just the example of our power, it’s the power of our example that’s almost as important.

The world’s looking. Israel has a value set like the United States does and other democracies and they’re looking to see what we’re going to do.

So, Mr. Prime Minister I’m very happy to be back in Israel with you. Thank you for having me and I’m looking forward to having a thorough discussion about where everybody goes from here but thank you.

And I want to say to the people of Israel their courage, their commitment, their bravery is stunning — it’s really stunning. I’m proud to be here.

Thank you.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.