Moshe Hill OPINION COLUMNS JULY 12 2023
“Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
This was the strong rebuttal made by then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin during his testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The date was June 22, 1982, and the person to whom Begin was speaking was the Senator from Delaware… Joe Biden.
Over 40 years later, and the story remains the same: Members of Congress want to strong-arm the only democracy in the Middle East and the only Jewish state on Earth with threats of removing bipartisan aid for the defense of said nation. While the story remains, nearly all of the players have changed – except Joe Biden. No longer a Senator from Delaware, Biden is the 80-year-old President of the United States, and he still cannot stand the strength and nationalistic vigor of a Jew defending his homeland.
This became as clear as ever when Biden gave an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. When asked why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not been invited to the White House, a severe departure from tradition, Biden demurred and claimed that Bibi was going through “existing problems with his coalition.” This is nonsense, as the current coalition is arguably the strongest that Bibi has had in his tenure as longest-serving Prime Minister of Israel. Then Biden claimed that this was “one of the most extreme cabinets I’ve seen.”
Biden has not changed in his 50 years in government, and there’s no chance he will change anytime in the future. Biden still believes that, as he said in the interview, “Israel’s ultimate security rests in a two-state solution.” This has always been a non-starter for the Palestinians and their supporters in the West, who have made demolishing the Jewish State their primary objective since the founding of the PLO in 1964. Yet this is what the foreign policy “intelligencia” think is the best answer.
Biden said as much last year, when meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas (who is in year 18 of his four-year term). “Two states along the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” said Biden at the time, “remains the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis.” Biden then became the first sitting President to visit East Jerusalem, removing Israeli flags from his motorcade and signaling to the world that he is friendly towards the notion of a divided Jerusalem.
In the time between that visit and now, Israeli voters turned out in droves for a strong right-wing coalition committed to security over empty platitudes. Not only that, but Israel’s Jewish Left, which was the dominant force in Israeli politics when Biden became Senator in the 1970s, received the final nail in its coffin. No Israelis who care about the security of their nation think that “land for peace” is a viable option. Biden, who’s been around this entire time, should know this.
Yet he does not. Biden pushes the same tired ideas that caused the massive failure of the Oslo accords – not because he thinks they will work, but because he can’t handle the idea that he’s been wrong for half a century. Biden is not alone in this regard. Nearly all mainstream pundits and politicians, regardless of their political party, will say that they are for a “two-state solution,” despite the decades of evidence showing that it cannot happen. Yet Biden calls the Israeli government, which has asserted itself as the only stable government in the region, “extreme” for allowing its citizens to live in peace, safety, and security.
Biden also classifies the proposed judicial changes by Netanyahu as “extreme.” At a time when his party is calling for massive changes to the Supreme Court, Biden is interfering in the internal judicial reform movement of Israel. Biden said to Zakaria that, “we’re talking to them regularly, trying to tamp down what is going on and hopefully Bibi will continue to move toward moderation and change in the court.” Biden admits to trying to interfere in an internal Israel issue, a far cry from being a mediator in a conflict between governments. As far as extremism goes, it is far more extreme for the President of the United States to use the power of his office to influence another nation’s court system than it is for that nation to introduce some reforms in accordance with the democratic will of its people.
Biden has shown throughout his career that he is willing to use any means necessary to get Israel to comply with what he thinks is “right.” This would be laughable – given his track record of being wrong about everything – but Joe Biden is the President of the United States, and with that title comes massive authority. It’s up to Congress and public pressure to ensure that Biden does not do anything too damaging before his tenure as president is up.