Biden Expresses ‘Hope’ for Gaza Ceasefire While Eating Ice Cream With Seth Meyers

Bianca Echa

Biden Expresses ‘Hope’ for Gaza Ceasefire While Eating Ice Cream With Seth Meyers

U.S. President Joe Biden is facing criticism after he weighed in on the Israel-Hamas war while holding an ice cream cone near his mouth.

Biden visited Van Leeuwen’s ice cream shop in New York City after filming an appearance for Late Night With Seth Meyers on Monday. In videos that emerged of the appearance, Biden was seen ordering mint chip ice cream and talking to other customers, before answering questions from reporters about when a ceasefire was possible. 

“I hope by… the end of the weekend,” Biden answered. “My national security advisor tells me we’re close. We’re close. It’s not done yet. My hope is by next Monday, we’ll have a ceasefire,” Biden said.

Critics blasted the optics and timing of Biden’s comments.

“This appears both irresponsible, and with the ice cream cone, tone deaf and tactless,” Mairav Zonszein, an Israeli-American journalist and commentator, wrote on social media platform X. 

“Nothing says ‘we’re taking this seriously’ like talking about a war that has killed ~30,000 people with an ice-cream cone halfway to your mouth,” Gregg Carlstrom, the Economist’s Middle East correspondent, said on X. 

The Palestinian death toll in Gaza has reached at least 29,782, according to Gazan health authorities. About 1,200 people in Israel were killed during the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks.

“Biden makes impotent gestures in the general direction of geopolitical affairs that illustrate only his lack of control over them while eating an ice cream cone. This man owns his brand,” journalist Noah Rothman said on X.

Biden’s comments come amid reports of progress in indirect talks involving Israel and Hamas. A deal would reportedly involve aid deliveries to Gaza and the release of more Israeli hostages. But Israel has not commented on the talks and Hamas officials have suggested a deal is farther away than Biden’s remarks suggest, the BBC reported.

Others have focused on the political timing of Biden’s comments. “Biden drops the ceasefire-by-next Monday teaser on what just happens to be the eve of the Michigan primary, where he’s in such trouble with Muslim voters,” Canadian broadcaster Richard Gizbert posted on X.

Michigan, a battleground state, is home to the largest Arab American community in the U.S. and the state heads to the polls for Tuesday’s primary.

The Biden Administration’s approach to Gaza has spurred a major drop in support among Arab Americans, according to an October poll by the Arab American Institute.

Last week, Dearborn, MI, mayor Abdullah Hammoud said in a New York Times op-ed that his city’s constituents are “haunted by the images, videos and stories streaming out of Gaza.”

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