President Biden was confronted Wednesday evening by a heckler calling for a cease-fire at a campaign event and responded with support for a pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Biden was speaking to an audience of 200 people at a fundraiser when one person in the audience shouted out, “As a rabbi, I need you to call for a cease-fire right now.”
“I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out,” Biden responded.
“I’m the guy that convinced Bibi to call for a cease-fire to let the prisoners out. I’m the guy that talked to Sisi to convince him to open the door,” he added, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
He was referencing the news earlier Wednesday that American citizens are among those who began to leave Gaza through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
Up until his comment, the White House had said it would start considering support for a “humanitarian pause” to allow aid into Gaza. But, it has rebuffed pressure from progressives and activists for a cease-fire in Gaza, arguing that it would only help Hamas.
The heckler, who told reporters present that her name was rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, was escorted out by security while singing “cease-fire now.” Biden went on to say that he understands the emotions around the conflict in the Middle East.
“This is incredibly complicated for the Israelis. It’s incredibly complicated for the Muslim world as well … I supported a two-state solution; I have from the very beginning,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. A flat-out terrorist organization.”
During remarks in Minnesota earlier Wednesday, Biden reaffirmed his administration’s stance that Israel has the right to defend itself in the aftermath of the Hamas terrorist attacks, while noting images coming out of Gaza that show children crying out for their parents and efforts to identify the dead.
The president has thrown his support behind Israel since the Hamas terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, but he has shifted his response in recent weeks to lean more into humanitarian aid and support for Palestinian civilians on the ground in Gaza.
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This story originally Appeared on The Hill