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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke October 31, 2023

Biden urged aid for Israel, Ukraine. He didn’t declare World War III

If Your Time is short

  • President Joe Biden urged aid for Israel and Ukraine in a recent primetime address; he didn’t declare World War III.

A video in a recent Facebook post cobbles together quotes from an Oct. 19 address by President Joe Biden as evidence that the commander in chief has confirmed World War III is underway. 

"Joe Biden just announced World War III live on TV," a narrator in the video says. "In case you missed it, Joe Biden just addressed the nation regarding the wars in Ukraine, and the situation in Israel and, well, things are starting to get biblical." 

The video, which appears to have originated on TikTok, cuts to Biden sitting at a desk. 

"We’re facing an inflection point in history," Biden says. "One of those moments and the decisions we make today are going to determine the decades to come."

The narrator then says, "Now, I want you to listen to some of the things he said, and pay close attention to some of the language he uses because it’s extremely important."

Here are some of the quotes from Biden: 

  • "The terrorist group Hamas unleashed pure, unadulterated evil in the world. But sadly, the Jewish people know, perhaps better than anyone, that there is no limit to the depravity of people when they want to inflict pain on others."  

  • "You know, the assault on Israel echoes nearly 20 months of war, tragedy and brutality inflicted on the people of Ukraine — people that were very badly hurt since Putin launched his all-out invasion." 

  • "Hamas and Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy — completely annihilate it. Hamas, its stated purpose for existing is the destruction of the state of Israel and the murder of Jewish people." 

  • "I know these conflicts can seem far away and it’s natural to ask: Why does this matter to America? So let me share with you why making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for America’s national security. You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising. So, if we don’t stop Putin’s appetite for power and control in Ukraine, he won’t limit himself just to Ukraine. … Putin has already threatened to ‘remind,’ quote, ‘remind’ Poland that their western land was a gift from Russia."

  • "If Putin attacks a NATO ally, we will defend every inch of NATO, which the treaty requires and calls for. We will have something that we do not seek — make it clear — we do not seek, we do not seek to have American troops fighting in Russia or fighting against Russia. Beyond Europe, we know that our allies and, maybe most importantly, our adversaries and competitors are watching. They’re watching our response in Ukraine as well. And if we walk away and let Putin erase Ukraine’s independence, would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened to try the same. The risk of conflict and chaos could spread in other parts of the world, in the Indo-Pacific, in the Middle East — especially in the Middle East. Iran is supporting Russia in Ukraine, and it’s supporting Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region. And we’ll continue to hold them accountable."

  • "Just as in World War II, today, patriotic American workers are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom." 


The narrator resumes talking here. 

"See what he’s doing here?" he says. "He’s referencing World War II in order to try and convince people that today is just as dangerous and to basically prepare for World War III."  

Text flanking the video says: "Joe Biden confirms WW3 live on TV."

This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

Biden’s comments come from an Oct. 19 speech about the U.S. response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel and the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine. But his remarks supporting wartime aid for Israel and Ukraine do not amount to a confirmation of World War III, something Biden never mentions.

Biden also said  he was not aiming to send American troops into the battles in Ukraine or Israel.


  • "It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations, help us keep American troops out of harm’s way, help us build a world that is safer, more peaceful, and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren."

  • "From the outset, I have said I will not send American troops to fight in Ukraine."


If Biden announced World War III, it’s safe to say it would be more widely covered than in a Facebook or a TikTok video. Instead, news coverage reflected his desire to send money to help Israel and Ukraine. 

"President Biden gave a rare Oval Office address Thursday night to make the case that it is in Americans’ best interests to hike funding for Israel after the deadly Hamas attack — and to support additional funding for Ukraine, embroiled in its long fight against Russia," NPR said

"President Joe Biden’s task, as he looked America in the eye from the Oval Office, was to explain why a nation wearied by its own foreign quagmires and political estrangements should send $100 billion to help other people fight wars," CNN echoed.

And CBS News’ headline said, "Biden makes case that aid for Israel and Ukraine will ‘pay dividends for American security.’"

We rate claims Biden confirmed World War III on live TV — or anywhere — False.


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Biden urged aid for Israel, Ukraine. He didn’t declare World War III

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