President Joe Biden’s “weakness” caused the escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas, former Vice President Mike Pence argued in a Monday op-ed.
Pence’s opinion piece in National Review is his most aggressive push back into politics since leaving the White House in January. Pence attacks Biden for giving in to anti-Israel factions within the Democratic Party, factions which have been particularly vocal since violence first began to escalate at the beginning of May. (RELATED: How The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Dividing Democrats)
“President Biden and congressional Democrats have abandoned unambiguous support for our ally Israel, emboldened our enemies, and turned their back on the policy that yielded historic peace deals in the Middle East,” Pence wrote, going on to tout his and former President Donald Trump’s defense of Israel and successes in the Middle East, particularly the Abraham Accords.
“President Biden has sent the world a profoundly different message,” he added. “Instead of seeking peace through strength, he has invited violence through weakness.”
Pence’s op-ed published hours after Biden held a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he called for a ceasefire. Netanyahu has rejected a ceasefire so far, arguing that Hamas and other terrorist groups are still operating. White House says Biden assured Netanyahu that the U.S. stands with Israel in the conflict, however.
“The President reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the White House said in a summary of the call. “The President welcomed efforts to address intercommunal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem. He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.”
“The two leaders discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end. The two leaders agreed that they and their teams would remain in close touch,” the White House added.