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Biden renews confession at Jewish Hanukkah ceremony – ‘I am a Zionist’

US President Joe Biden reiterated his deep relationship with the Jewish community in the US, saying “the warmth and connection I feel to the Jewish community is unquestionable.”

Biden added during the Jewish menorah lighting ceremony at the White House: “I ran into trouble and criticism when I said a few years ago that you don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist.”

The Israeli Army Radio had earlier quoted the Minister of Settlements and National Tasks, Orit Struck, as saying, “Biden is truly a Zionist, and although he is the president of the United States of America, he is a Zionist person and loves Israel.”

Not all members of the Jewish community stood by Biden, however – Jewish demonstrators chained themselves to the fence of the White House on Monday evening, to demand an end to the war on Gaza, during a demonstration organized by the “Jewish Voice for Peace” group.

The demonstrators, who came from Washington, New York and California, chanted: “Stop genocide” in Gaza.

Biden said during the reception to mark Hanukkah that the US will “continue to provide military assistance to Israel until they get rid of Hamas, but we have to be careful — they have to be careful. The whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight, we can’t let that happen.”

Biden hinted towards “unrest” in the relationship between him and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, noting that Netanyahu is in a “difficult position,” and that each of them has had their share of disagreements over the years.

He recounted how as a young lawmaker he told the Israeli leader, “I love you, but I don’t agree with a damn thing you have to say.”

“It’s about the same today,” Biden said Monday.

“I’ve had my differences with some Israeli leadership… My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist is independent Jewish state is just unshakeable,” Biden said.

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