Newsweek, November 2023
Joe Biden is attempting a careful balancing act when it comes to America’s policy on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, as he fends off criticism from the left while trying to retain strong ties with a long-term ally in the Middle East.
After being heckled by an activist urging him to call a ceasefire on Wednesday, the president responded that he supported a humanitarian “pause,” but that the current conflict was an “incredibly complicated” situation. Some have seen this as an attempt by Biden to temper his public support for Israel, which in the immediate aftermath of the attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants on October 7 was staunchly sympathetic toward it.
But in the wake of an intensive campaign of airstrikes on Gaza and a subsequent ground offensive which has led to a rising Palestinian death toll, as well as numerous pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the U.S., the president—who is seeking a second term in 2024—is facing mounting outrage from progressive Democrats that he is not doing more to rein Israel in.