WASHINGTON D.C. (ABC) - In a rare address to the nation from the Oval Office, President Joe Biden on Thursday night made the case to Americans that it's vital to both global and U.S. national security to assist Israel and Ukraine in their respective conflicts, which threaten broader disruptions in Europe and the Middle East.
"I know the conflicts can seem far away and it's natural to ask: Why does this matter to America?" Biden said. "So let me share with you why making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for America's national security. You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don't pay a price for their terror, when dictators don't pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction."
Solemn throughout his remarks, the president stressed what he saw as America's role as a defender of democracy and as a "beacon to the world, still," while seeking to reassure the nation amid a time of rising anger, grief and unrest in the wake of Hamas' terror attack on Israel and Israel's resulting war on Hamas in the Palestinian territory of Gaza.
"To all of you hurting, those of you who are hurting, I want you to know: I see you. You belong," the president said. "And I want to say this to you: You're all America."
Biden's remarks came one day after his wartime visit to Tel Aviv, a high-stakes test of his personal diplomacy and U.S. world leadership in a crisis.