Biden’s Conflicting Narratives on Israel-Hamas Conflict Revealed in Letters to Americans

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is communicating diverse messages regarding the war in the Middle East to pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel Americans, according to official White House correspondence obtained by NBC News.

One letter underscores Biden’s support for Israel against terrorism, while the other focuses on the administration’s efforts to protect civilians in Gaza.

Though the letters do not contradict each other or Biden’s policies, it is unusual for the White House correspondence office to craft versions of a letter on the same topic that diverge so significantly. Yet they reflect the delicate balance Biden is navigating as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian elements of his coalition fray over the war.

The form response sent to Israel supporters invokes the Holocaust in relation to the terrorist assault by Hamas, pledges ongoing support to Israel, and promises to prioritize the return of hostages. Biden writes, “The people of Israel lived through a moment of pure evil” that “resurfaced horrible memories” and amounted to the “deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust.”

On the contrary, the response to pro-Palestinian letter-writers makes no mention of evil or the Holocaust, instead focusing on providing aid to Palestinians.

There are commonalities in the letters, including Biden’s promises to pursue protection of civilians, secure humanitarian assistance for Palestinians and work to realize a two-state solution, as well as calling Hamas a terrorist organization.

In a crucial swing state with large Arab American and Muslim communities, some Democrats are threatening to withhold their votes from Biden over his backing of Israel. The split messaging reflects Biden’s need to appeal to both sides of a schism in his party that has been exacerbated by the war.

On particularly controversial subjects, the White House will write different versions of a letter to accentuate the president’s alignment with one side or play down his disagreement with the other. “

These letters highlight the distinct messages Biden is communicating to opposing sides of the conflict. They are so intricately curated that even Biden’s call to fight hatred, uses inverse structures.

Even the closing lines are distinctly written to appeal to opposing sides, reflecting the delicate balancing act Biden is trying to perform amidst a divided nation.

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