President of the United States Joe Biden met with United Hatzalah President and Founder Eli Beer during Biden’s solidarity visit to Israel.
Immediately after Biden’s meeting with Netanyahu and the war cabinet, the U.S. The President then met with representatives of hostage families, massacre survivors, Eli Beer, the founder and president of United Hatzalah, Israel’s top volunteer EMS organization, and other first responders who were on the scene in the days after Hamas’ attack.
Beer recalled the meeting: “The President embraced me. “I cried because I was so moved. He was curious as to the details of what I had been informed by United Hatzalah volunteers who had been there in those areas since the beginning of the fighting.
I informed him of our 7,000 Orange Angel volunteers, many of whom are American citizens and represent the whole range of Israeli society. I informed him that the majority of our volunteers are Muslims, Christians, and Jews, both religious and nonreligious, men and women, who, as soon as they learned what had occurred and even before realizing the scope of the catastrophe, left everything behind and entered the flames, endangering their own lives in order to save others.
Aside from two cherished volunteers—an Arab and a Jew—who lost their lives while aiding the injured, I also said that several of our volunteers were injured and kidnapped.
The President expressed his profound emotion by stating that he personally understands the anguish of loss and empathizes with the suffering of the Israeli people. I told him that I was proud to be Jewish, that we loved him, and that his visit to Israel had improved the mood of the entire nation.
I continued by thanking him for his unmatched support since the creation of the state of Israel. I also mentioned to him that I was quite happy with the assistance we receive from Americans, who provide over 50% of our funding.
The horrors that our volunteers saw “shocked the President of the United States,” Beer continued. On behalf of the American people, he praised the United Hatzalah volunteers and their many supporters and expressed his admiration for their extraordinary dedication.
He also asked that I send condolences to the families of the slain volunteers. President Biden said something to me as we were saying goodbye that I will never forget: “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist.”