OpinionIsrael at War

Biden should go back to supporting Israel in full force

It’s the right thing to do and would help him politically: A recent Pew study found that Jewish support for Israel was higher than any religious group.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz hold a joint press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv on Nov. 11, 2023. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz hold a joint press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv on Nov. 11, 2023. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL.
Farley Weiss
Farley Weiss is chairman of the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) and former president of the National Council of Young Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu formed a unity government on Oct. 12—just five days after the terrorist attacks in southern Israel by Hamas—and no longer is the Israeli government a so-called “narrow right-wing government.” Despite that fact, the Biden administration has made clear its goal to have the democratically elected prime minister removed from office. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s recent speech, which included a public call for Netanyahu’s ouster, was praised by U.S. President Joe Biden. However, the Biden administration concoction that the problem of Israel is some right-wing government is patently false because the current decision-making is being made by a three-man group, of which one of the members—Benny Gantz—is the current head of what polls show is the leading opposition party. The other two are Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Ridiculously, this push for Netanyahu to step down or call for new elections was reiterated by David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel, and Bret Stephens, a The New York Times columnist, even though a unity government is currently in place. It is noteworthy that both the Biden administration and Schumer’s preoccupation with criticizing National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is also coming at a time when neither man is a member of the War Cabinet that has been making key decisions over the past six months for the government of Israel.

The criticisms the Biden administration has made against Netanyahu were over policies that were not only adopted by the unity government but were also consensus positions in Israel. For example, the Biden foreign-policy team has complained publicly that it wanted Netanyahu to make more concessions in hostage negotiations (namely, to free many more mass murderers of Jews in exchange for Israeli grandfathers and women taken captive on Oct. 7 and dragged back into Gaza). When Netanyahu finally acquiesced, Hamas still said no.

Hamas has been consistent that it wants only to release hostages in exchange for an end to the conflict so the terror group can survive to attack Israel again. Israel already agreed to a successful and massively better hostage deal back in November. The fact of the matter is that hostages’ lives are being lost in captivity because the Biden administration’s criticisms of Israel led Hamas to make delusional demands. Israel’s success on the battlefield logically should have resulted in no lesser release deal than one hostage for every three prisoners, which Israel would have again accepted.

The Biden administration has also criticized Israel for not providing enough humanitarian aid when, early on in the conflict, the president said he was only going to pressure Israel to allow the flow of aid if Hamas was not stealing it. Despite Israel documenting that Hamas terrorists were taking 60% to 70% of food and other items while they were still holding more than 100 Israelis captive, Biden changed his position. He demanded that Israel provide massive amounts of assistance at a time when the hostages that were released in November reported that Hamas was starving them. Even though polls showed that more than 73% of Palestinian Arabs in Gaza supported the massacre of 1,200 Jews on Oct. 7, Biden falsely claimed in arguing for aid that the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza do not support Hamas.

The Biden administration has also falsely claimed that Israel was “indiscriminately” bombing Gaza when, in fact, the ratio of terrorists to civilians being killed in Gaza is far lower than in any urban conflict in world history. The head of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, said that the best the United States and Britain had done was four civilians to every one terrorist when fighting in an urban area, with the world average of nine civilians to every one terrorist. West Point Military Academy professor and urban warfare specialist Professor John Spencer investigated the conflict and said that no country has done what Israel has done to protect civilians in an urban conflict by warning civilians and allowing them to flee war zones.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry has been shown to massively falsify their casualty numbers and now has admitted that it can only confirm around 23,000 casualties, instead of their previous number of 33,000 casualties. Israel says that more than 13,000 of those casualties are terrorists and likely around 2,000 were killed by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fire that misfired and landed in Gaza civilian areas, and this does not even mention those who died of natural causes that likely is another at least 5,000 people. Accordingly, the number of civilian casualties in this conflict remains astonishingly low; therefore, those criticizing Israel for those casualties are either ignoramuses or antisemites.

The question that needs to be asked is why the Biden administration is somehow claiming that policies are being made by a narrow right-wing government when that is not the case. The only answer that makes sense is that the Biden administration’s antagonism towards Netanyahu is a blatant political attempt to appeal to the anti-Israel element of the Democratic Party. 

However, as Reform Rabbi Maurice Hirsch recently said, and as a Sienna poll recently found, the Biden administration is likely losing massive Jewish support as a result of its criticisms of Israel. A recent Pew study found that Jewish support for Israel was at 89% and higher than any other religious or ethnic group. History has shown that presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush lost one-third of their Jewish support when they went up for re-election after they repeatedly publicly criticized Israel. Biden is almost assuredly going to suffer the same fate. After standing with Israel during the Iran attack this past week, it is now time for the Biden administration to change its policy and start standing with Israel in its fight against Hamas.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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