COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – President Biden spoke for just over 15 minutes from the Oval Office on Thursday night. He addressed the ongoing war in Ukraine and the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
“I liked how he stressed that we can’t look away because we’re putting so much at risk. And I thought the parallel between Ukraine and Israel was pretty spot on. It’s imperative that terrorists and dictators pay the price for their aggression,” said Joanne Strasser, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for JewishColumbus.
Strasser said another important thing Biden did was acknowledge the hurt on all sides from antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Rabbi Rick Kellner with Congregation Beth Tikvah also resonates with President Biden’s comments about standing with Israel and Jewish people here at home.
“President Biden recognizes the pain that we are feeling right now,” Kellner said. “The Jewish community has been in a period of mourning since Oct. 7.”
Kellner pointed out that it’s been a bipartisan effort to show support for Israel in the past, and feels that now as well.
“To recognize that we are all here and we matter is a powerful sign of acceptance of the Jewish community here. It’s important to hear that from the President of the United States,” Kellner said.
During Biden’s address he also talked about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The President is expected to ask for around $100 billion in aid, $60 billion for Ukraine as they fight against the Russian invasion.
“As long as this war will continue, more pain, more death, more hurt will continue,” said Pastor Viktor Moskalyuk of Grace Evangelical Church.
Moskalyuk was born in Ukraine but has called central Ohio home for years. He visited Ukraine four times since the fighting started. He’s seen the death, pain, and hurt all firsthand.
“If it doesn’t receive any support from any ally countries who stand and support Ukraine, Ukraine would not be able to defend itself. We are looking at the battle of David and Goliath,” Moskalyuk said.
Moskalyuk has turned full time toward raising aid for Ukraine. His church has helped find homes for around 1,000 refugees coming to central Ohio since the start of the war. He knows they cannot win the war without help.
“This is what United States and free American people stand for,” Moskalyuk said.