‘I’m a Zionist,’ Biden declares at White House Chanukah party

President Biden decried the ‘sickening’ surge in antisemitism and declared his ‘unshakeable’ support for the Jewish state. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

During a Chanukah reception at the White House on Monday, President Joe Biden reaffirmed his administration’s support for Israel’s war against Hamas and declared, “I’m a Zionist.”

Addressing a group of 800 including Holocaust survivors, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and members of Congress, President Biden decried the “sickening” surge in antisemitism and declared his “unshakeable” support for the Jewish state.

“You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist. I am a Zionist,” he said.

Biden continued, “Were there no Israel, there would not be a Jew in the world who is safe.”

After the US rejected the United Nations’ demand for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza last week, President Biden said he would continue to support Israel in its goal of dismantling Hamas but warned that global public opinion may create obstacles.

“We continue to provide military assistance until they get rid of Hamas, but we have to be careful…The whole world, public opinion can shift overnight. We can’t let that happen,” Biden said.

Although Biden has often been critical of Israel’s policies, he emphasized that support for the war effort transcends these differences.

The President described a photograph given to Benjamin Netanyahu of the two of them together in 1973, and Biden scribbled, “Bibi, I love you but I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say.”

“It’s about the same today,” Biden quipped to the crowd.

Regarding the 136 hostages still held in Gaza, Biden declared, “We will not stop until everyone returns home.”

Also at the reception was the second gentleman Doug Emhoff, who is Jewish and is the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.

On display at the White House was a  menorah recovered from the remains of a home in Kfar Azza.

Before the ceremony, police responded to protests involving 20 women who called themselves the “Jewish Elders,” who chained themselves to the fence in front of the White House and carried signs and chanted, “Biden, Biden, pick a side! Cease-fire, not genocide!”

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The police had to use bolt cutters to detach the protestors from the White House fence.