Stefanik defends speech at Israel’s Knesset torching Biden, Democrats: ‘Equivocation after equivocation’

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House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., on Sunday defended a recent speech she delivered to the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, torching President Biden’s ‘betrayal of the importance of the U.S.-Israel alliance.’ 

Stefanik, who is meeting with Israeli leaders at the same time Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan is also visiting Jerusalem, appeared on ‘Fox News Sunday’ after speaking at the parliament building. Fox News host Shannon Bream asked the third-highest ranking House Republican if the concept broadly adopted in the 1940s of leaving partisan politics at the water’s edge and minority leaders refraining from criticizing a sitting American president while abroad was now ‘out the door.’ 

But the congresswoman, reportedly on former President Trump’s 2024 VP shortlist, shot back that she had been ‘invited to talk about my work when it comes to combating antisemitism and my strong record when it comes to U.S./Israel support.’ 

‘The world needs to know, and Israel needs to know, that the House Republican majority stands strongly with Israel,’ Stefanik said. ‘That this equivocation, this weak, failed leadership that we are seeing from Joe Biden, that’s not where the American people are, that’s not where the United States Congress is. And it’s not reflective of the legislation that we passed that Joe Biden signed into law. So, it is important for the world to hear. The world is looking for moral leadership, Shannon. And it’s important that House Republicans step up to fill that void, which we have under Speaker Johnson’s leadership.’ 


Stefanik said the main focus of her speech ‘was that the American people stand strongly with Israel, as do House Republicans,’ referencing how on Thursday the House passed legislation that rebuked Biden for pausing a shipment of bombs to Israel, seeking to force the weapons transfer. 

Debate over the bill showed Washington’s deeply fractured outlook on the Israel-Hamas war. The White House and Democratic leadership scrambled to rally support from a House caucus that ranges from moderates frustrated that the president would allow any daylight between the U.S. and Israel to progressives outraged that he is still sending any weapons at all. The bill passed comfortably 224-187 as 16 Democrats joined with most Republicans to vote in favor. Three Republicans voted against it.

‘You’ve had equivocation after equivocation from Democrats, led by Joe Biden, or whether it’s Chuck Schumer calling for a new leader replacing Prime Minister Netanyahu, that is not the place – that is not the type of leadership we need to be seeing from the highest levels of the United States of America,’ Stefanik said. ‘And that’s one of the focuses that I had today in my speech at the Knesset, that House Republicans stand strongly with Israel at their time of existential need.’

‘Oct. 7 was the bloodiest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,’ she added. ‘We want to make sure Israel has all the resources, no equivocation that it comes to eradicating Hamas.’ 

Amid concern that tens of thousands of people have been injured and killed in Gaza, Bream noted that Amnesty International sounded the alarm that U.S. weapons are being used in violation of international and U.S. laws. Stefanik, in response, said Hamas uses civilians as shields, while ‘Israel has great respect when it comes to human rights’ and ‘that’s why the United States stands fully with Israel, and that’s why they need to be a voice of truth, as those antisemitic propaganda are being shared around the world and being shared by perpetrators who support this terrorism.’ 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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