More than 125 former officials signed an open letter backing US President Joe Biden’s support of Israel during Operation Swords of Iron amid a Democratic party schism on the Israel-Palestine issue.
Support for President Biden among his own party members and voters has decreased as Biden has pledged unwavering US support for Israel. Some 127 prominent former Obama administration and former Biden administration officials challenged this divide with the letter, shared first by CNN.
“As former Biden and Obama administration officials and campaign staff, we are writing to express our deep appreciation for your moral clarity, courageous leadership, and staunch support of Israel, one of our nation’s strongest allies, in the aftermath of the worst massacre of Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust,” the letter said.
“We are grateful to you for unequivocally condemning Hamas’s terrorism and war crimes as ‘unadulterated evil’ and appreciate your historic visit to Israel, the first for an American president during wartime,” the letter continued.
'No moral equivalence'
The co-signers, who include Former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Former Obama-era Treasury secretary Larry H. Summers, and US Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey, 5th District), further thanked the president and his administration for over $14 billion in security assistance, support for the hostages held by Hamas, and other measures taken in support of Israel during the current unprecedented difficulties.
“Five weeks after Hamas’s unconscionable attacks, we agree with you that a ceasefire is not possible at this time… We also support the humanitarian pauses you’ve called for to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid and help to facilitate the release of… approximately 240 hostages, whose fate remains unknown to their families after weeks of captivity.”
The letter laid bare the hypocrisy of the moral equivalency drawn between Israel and Hamas, which Israel’s critics use to accuse it of war crimes, genocide, and other atrocities.
“There is no moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas, a designated terrorist organization responsible for mass atrocities. No aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict justifies Hamas’s unconscionable war crimes on October 7 and the destruction it has caused in Gaza in the weeks before and since,” it said.
"We are grateful to you and Vice President [Kamala] Harris for your leadership in this moment of crisis," the letter concluded.