Democrat Pres. Joe Biden is under pressure from some in the liberal media, as well as from some members of his own party – such the House's influential, far-left “Squad” – to demand Israeli Pres. Netanyahu order a ceasefire to his military’s war on Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
But, a new Rasmussen survey finds that a large majority of U.S. likely voters agree with Netanyahu that the offensive to vanquish Hamas must continue, because a ceasefire would amount to an Israeli surrender.
In the national survey, conducted October 31-November 2, Rasmussen posed the following question:
“Benjamin Netanyahu is Prime Minister of Israel. In a speech this week, Netanyahu said: ‘Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.’ Do you agree or disagree?”
More than two-thirds (68%) of voters agree with Netanyahu’s determination to press forward with the fight, including half (49%) who “strongly agree.” Just 21% disagree.
On October 16, however, more than a dozen House Democrats introduced a resolution demanding Pres. Biden pressure Netanyahu to order a ceasefire, as The New York Post explains:
“The ‘Ceasefire Now Resolution,’ — introduced by Reps. Cori Bush of Missouri, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Andre Carson of Indiana, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania and Delia Ramirez of Illinois — demands that the Biden administration ‘immediately call for and facilitate deescalation [sic] and a cease-fire to urgently end the current violence’ and ‘promptly send and facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.’”
But, the Rasmussen survey finds that even 61% of Democrat voters at least “somewhat agree” that Netanyahu should not give in to calls for a ceasefire, as do 79% of Republicans and 65% of “other” voters.
On Wednesday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a press conference that Biden won’t be swayed by polls on the issue and that the president supports Netanyahu’s stance:
“We don’t support that at this time. A ceasefire right now benefits Hamas. It certainly also legitimizes what Hamas started on October 7th and it would give them a propaganda win.”
“So, a ceasefire not only gives them time to plan and execute, but it legitimizes what they started on October 7th. And that’s unacceptable to Pres. Biden. It’s certainly unacceptable, and understandably so, to the Israeli people.”
Kirby went on to explain the difference between a “ceasefire” and the “pause” that Pres. Biden is advocating. While a ceasefire signals that fighting has permanently stopped because the war has ended and only the final details remain to be settled, a pause is instituted for a brief time to achieve a specific goal.
“A pause is, as I’ve said, temporary, localized, specific purpose,” Kirby said, noting that Biden supports a pause in order to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and deliver citizens out of harm’s way. Still, Biden wants “as many pauses as necessary” to accomplish the mission, Kirby said.