JD Vance rips Biden administration for ‘micromanaging’ Israel’s wartime effort

Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) on Sunday criticized the Biden administration for its tone towards Israel’s wartime efforts in Gaza, arguing the U.S. is more focused on “micromanaging” Israel than securing the release of the hostages still held by militant group Hamas.

“If you want to get these hostages released, you’ve got to, first of all, enable Israel to actually finish the job,” Vance said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “And second of all, put America’s diplomatic weight behind and on Hamas, right? Pressure Hamas to release these hostages; don’t use America’s leverage to effectively cause the Israelis to pull back here.”

Hamas took an estimated 250 people hostage during its Oct. 7 surprise assault against Israel, which left about 1,200 others dead and sparked the nearly seven-month war in Gaza.

About 100 of these hostages were released during a week-long cease-fire late last year and Israel claims more than 130 hostages remain, a quarter of whom are believed dead. A top Hamas official told the Associated Press last week the militant group does not know exactly how many hostages remain in Gaza and are still alive.

“I think it’s really shameful and shows frankly, that a lot of folks don’t respect the United States of America that we still have citizens that are being held hostage,” Vance said. “And our president, instead of focusing on getting those hostages back is focused on micromanaging one of our allies’ war efforts.”

The White House has been advocating for a cease-fire in Gaza that would allow the release of hostages still being held in the region and would allow additional humanitarian aid to surge into the area. Biden administration officials have been heavily involved in trying to negotiate a deal, but those talks have stalled in recent weeks.

President Biden was among a group of 18 world leaders to call on Hamas last week to release the remaining hostages.

“We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza now for over 200 days. They include our own citizens,” the leaders wrote in a statement last Thursday. “The fate of the hostages and the civilian population in Gaza, who are protected under international law, is of international concern.”

The statement was released a day after Hamas released a video showing Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli American man who was among those taken by Hamas. It was not clear when the video was made.

While calling for the release of hostages, the Biden administration has also shifted its tone towards Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid the rising death toll in Gaza and asked Israeli forces to take more caution in preventing civilian deaths. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since early October, according to local health authorities.

The Hil reached out to the White House for comment.

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