Chris Coons dismisses protesters’ influence on Biden’s Israel stance

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) rejected the idea of any influence that pro-Palestinian protesters have had on President Joe Biden‘s stance when it comes to Israel.

Coons appeared on Fox News Sunday as Biden’s campaign co-chair to address the president’s apparent change of tone concerning Israel. While at first, Biden steered clear from any language around a ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, he has since begun calling for a ceasefire to take place as soon as all of the hostages Hamas has in custody are released. Host Martha MacCallum asked Coons if the pro-Palestinian protesters who have threatened to not vote for Biden over the matter have won.

“No. Let me remind you what just happened. Two weeks ago, President Biden signed into law our annual appropriations bill that includes $3.8 billion in support for Israel,” Coons said. “I think this is a tactical disagreement that began with Prime Minister Netanyahu insisting he would go into Rafah.”

The Biden administration has long disagreed that Israel Defense Forces should enter Rafah in southern Gaza, where many civilians have fled to avoid violence. IDF forces have since withdrawn from the area. Coons pointed to a supplemental request by Biden to include $14 billion more for Israel, along with funds for more foreign aid to other countries in need, such as Ukraine.

“It’s been waiting for action by the House for weeks now, and it’s my hope that Speaker [Mike] Johnson will put it on the floor this week,” Coons said. “It will show Iran strong bipartisan determination to continue to support Israel in the face of Iran’s threats if that supplemental passes the House this week.”

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Biden’s call for a ceasefire came amid increasing pressure in Michigan to do so. A movement encouraging Democratic voters to vote “uncommitted” in the state’s primary election began as a form of protest against the president’s support of Israel. The number of uncommitted votes resulted in Biden losing two delegates, who will be free to vote for any candidate they’d like later this year.

Additionally, some 46,000 Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin voted “uninstructed” this week, which was double the lead Biden won the state by in 2020.

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