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इंडियन आवाज़     13 Apr 2024 12:13:52      انڈین آواز

US: Biden Announces Drastic Gaza Aid Measure, Warns Against Trump in State of Union Address

(Last Updated On: 09/03/2024)
President Biden looks back at the Vice President while delivering his State of the Union.
@POTUS
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AMN / WEB DESK

US President Joe Biden used his third State of the Union speech Thursday evening to announce a dramatic measure to facilitate aid into Gaza, push funding for Ukraine’s war efforts and to warn the country of the threat posed by Donald Trump, his likely opponent in the November election.

Biden also used the speech to sharpen his attacks on Donald Trump and draw a contrast with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s positions on key issues.

He reminded Americans that it was Trump who put in the conservative majority on the Supreme Court that overturned legal protection for women’s right to an abortion. “My God, what freedom else would you take away?” he asked. He portrayed the push for gun control as “freedom to be safe” and the expansion of ballot access for minorities as “freedom to vote.”

These issues enjoy broad support from Biden’s base and beyond. Seeking to reclaim the mantle of economic populism from Trump, Biden laid out a progressive vision of his social welfare agenda by proposing to reshape the corporate tax system to make the wealthiest Americans pay more.

As casualties mount, Biden has been increasingly candid toward Israel, delivering a rare rebuke that “humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip.”

In addition to ordering the U.S. military to airdrop aid, he has directed it to establish a temporary pier off Gaza’s shore to facilitate aid shipments from Cyprus, an extraordinary and expensive operation.

 Highlighting the importance of defending democracy at home and around the world, Biden said: “I see a future where we defend democracy, not diminish it. I see a future where we restore the right to choose and protect other freedoms, not take them away,”

Earlier in the night, Biden began by emphasizing what he said are threats facing democracy around the world and calling on Congress to approve additional aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia.

More broadly, Biden said that democracy and freedom are under threat around the world.

“What makes our moment rare is that freedom and democracy are under attack both at home and overseas at the very same time,” he said.

The president also lauded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, which he called “the strongest military alliance the world has ever seen.”

He pointed out Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, who attended the address as a guest of first lady Jill Biden. Sweden officially joined NATO on Thursday

He addressed the ongoing war between Israel and the militant group Hamas near the end of his speech. He called on Hamas to release all of the Israeli hostages still being held by the group.

“I pledge to all the families that we will not rest until we bring their loved ones home,” Biden said.

But Biden also emphasized that Israel has a responsibility to protect civilians in Gaza. “It’s heartbreaking,” Biden said about the civilian crisis, which has seen more than 30,000 Palestinians killed.

Biden announced that the U.S. military will establish a temporary pier in the Mediterranean Sea on the Gaza coast that can receive large ships carrying food, water, medicine and temporary shelters for civilians in the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

Elsewhere in his speech, Biden drew attention to the Supreme Court’s 2022 overturning of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to abortion.

“Clearly those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women in America. But they found out when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again in 2024,” Biden said.

“If Americans send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you: I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again,” he continued.

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