President Joe Biden Was Interrupted Mid-Speech by Rabbi Demanding a Ceasefire in Gaza

President Joe Biden Was Interrupted Mid-Speech by Rabbi Demanding a Ceasefire in Gaza
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jonathan Ernst; (Inset): X | @jacksonhinklle

President Joe Biden faced a challenging moment during his visit to Minnesota after he was interrupted by Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, who demanded a ceasefire in Gaza. The bearded Reconstructionist rabbi and activist stood up during Biden's speech and asked why the President had not called for a halt to the ongoing conflict. "As a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now," she shouted. Biden responded by saying that he supported a 'pause' to allow for the release of prisoners and that he was the one who convinced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do so.


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After President Biden's remarks, the White House provided further context, explaining that he was referring specifically to the hostages being held captive by Hamas, not prisoners in general, in the wake of Israel's deadly October 7 attack. When Rosenberg suddenly interrupted the proceedings, it raised curiosity about who exactly she was. However, she tactfully seemed to sidestep questions about her background and instead highlighted her advocacy work for various issues like LGBTQ+ equality and Palestinian human rights, as per The Daily Mail. She described herself as 'a queer Jewish woman obsessed with Jewish history.'

Cover Image Source: Getty Images |  Tasos Katopodis
Image Source: Getty Images | Tasos Katopodis

Despite pressure to call for an immediate ceasefire, the Biden administration was initially hesitant to demand an end to the fighting in Gaza. However, on Monday, October 24, 2023, Secretary of State Antony Blinken finally broke ranks and urged them to agree on a 'humanitarian pause' in the conflict, as per The Hill. The purpose would be to allow desperately needed aid and supplies into the besieged Gaza Strip and provide civilians a chance to escape the enclave. However, the difference between a 'pause' and a 'ceasefire' may seem insignificant in practical terms, a sentiment backed by many experts.


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Despite the pressure for a ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has rejected all demands and has only allowed ambulances to enter Gaza to remove injured individuals. As Rosenberg was escorted out of the event, she chanted for a 'ceasefire' while the audience cheered for Biden's response and booed the protester. "I understand the emotion," Biden told his supporters. The President, who had earlier addressed the 'devastating' images of children suffering in Gaza, reiterated his support for a two-state solution and acknowledged the complexity of the situation. He also reaffirmed his stance that Hamas is a terrorist organization and that Israel has the right to defend itself.


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The President has adjusted his reaction to the persistent fighting in recent weeks, concentrating on humanitarian assistance and backing for Palestinian civilians. He has additionally communicated concern for the innocent lives lost in the struggle. The Biden administration has often stressed the need to follow the 'rules of war' amid the conflict.

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