OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden’s betrayal

His administration constantly slams Netanyahu while demanding nothing from the Palestinians or American antisemites.

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a group of Jewish Community leaders about his support for Israel following the recent Hamas terrorist attacks and his work to combat antisemitism on Oct. 11, 2023, in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a group of Jewish Community leaders about his support for Israel following the recent Hamas terrorist attacks and his work to combat antisemitism on Oct. 11, 2023, in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. Credit: Adam Schultz/White House.
Charles Miller. Credit: Courtesy.
Charles Miller
Charles Miller is an Executive Board Member of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har HaZeitim.

Every U.S. presidential administration, whether Democrat or Republican, has claimed the U.S.-Israel relationship is “unbreakable and unshakeable.” Notwithstanding this “ironclad assurance,” the Biden administration has done everything it can, both prior and subsequent to Oct. 7, to fundamentally undermine that relationship.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government took office, the administration’s contempt was palpable. On Dec. 4, 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the administration would “gauge the government by the policies it pursues rather than individual personalities. We will hold it to the mutual standards we have established in our relationship over the past seven decades.” Not exactly warm words.

To date, Netanyahu has never been invited to the White House for consultations. In fact, during the spring of 2022, at the height of Israel’s judicial reform debate, Biden took the unprecedented step of publicly disinviting Netanyahu.

Just last week, in what appears to have been a calculated ambush of Israel’s elected government coordinated with the White House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York—who represents the largest bloc of pro-Israel voters in the U.S.—took to the Senate floor to publicly call for the overthrow of the democratically elected Netanyahu government. Days before his diatribe, Vice President Kamala Harris said in an interview with CBS News, “It’s important for us to distinguish or at least not conflate the Israeli government with the Israeli people.” One expects such comments to be directed at third-world dictatorships and despots, not thriving democracies.

At almost the same time as Netanyahu took office, massive strikes and street protests erupted in France over myriad social and economic policies. One of these policies was national legislation prohibiting Muslim women from covering their hair in public schools. Blinken never rushed to the media to express his anger and resentment towards French President Emmanuel Macron for “Islamophobic” policies.

In fact, two days before Blinken slammed the Netanyahu government, Biden feted Macron and his wife at a champagne-infused White House state dinner. Macron was never subjected to condescending or pejorative language. There were no promises to “gauge” him.

Another glaring example of this double standard was the Biden administration’s fawning reception of King Abdullah of Jordan. Abdullah rules a completely Jew-free society and inherited his throne from a father who desecrated every Jewish holy site in the Land of Israel once under his control.

Worse still, Blinken has constantly praised the Qatari government for its mediation efforts, even though Qatar has long aided Hamas and its leaders, and runs the Israel-hating Al Jazeera TV network.

Nor has the Biden administration condemned the corrupt and undemocratic Palestinian Authority for its failure to condemn the Oct. 7 massacre. Instead, the administration has excused the P.A.’s unapologetic payment of stipends to terrorists and their families. Biden even recently stated that a “revitalized” P.A.—whatever that means—should rule Gaza.

The administration has also instituted a boycott of Jews and Jewish institutions located in Judea and Samaria. Four Jewish residents of the area are now on a terror list for allegedly “threatening United States national security.” Shockingly, this list does not include any member of the P.A. or the U.S. organizations, especially on campus, that have attacked Jews incessantly since Oct. 7.

Biden has also reversed almost every one of the previous administration’s positive reforms to American Middle East policy. Former President Donald Trump pulled out of the antisemitic organization UNESCO, which disparages and denies Jewish history in the Land of Israel; tore up the disastrous Iran deal; and acknowledged that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not per se illegal. Biden has gone so far as to rejoin UNESCO and, until just recently, fund the Hamas-infested Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

Nor has Biden repudiated former President Barack Obama’s sickening U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which deemed any Jewish presence over the 1967 lines illegal. This resolution effectively declared that Israel’s rebuilding of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish return to the Western Wall, the restoration of the desecrated 3,000-year-old Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery, and the reclaiming of the resting place of the Jewish people’s matriarchs and patriarchs at Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs are akin to war crimes.

Biden has also incessantly criticized Israel’s conduct in its war against Hamas. According to West Point scholars, the ratio of terrorist to civilian casualties in Gaza is about 1:1, a remarkable result considering the difficulties of urban warfare. Despite this and despite Hamas’s use of human shields in a deliberate attempt to drive up civilian casualties, Biden’s browbeating of Israel has only intensified.

Much of this is cynical political maneuvering, driven by Biden’s sagging poll numbers in Democratic Party strongholds like Michigan and other areas with sizeable anti-Israel and antisemitic constituencies. In mid-February, Biden dispatched his Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer to Dearborn, Michigan, a hotbed of Israel-hatred. Finer apologized repeatedly to his audience, expressing regret for how Biden administration officials have handled the Israel-Hamas war while lambasting “abhorrent” aspects of the Netanyahu government. 

In his official Ramadan message, Biden lamented the “more than 30,000 Palestinians” killed in the war, parroting Hamas propaganda that does not distinguish between Hamas terrorists and the civilian population. He also claimed there is an “appalling resurgence of hate and violence toward Muslim Americans.” He provided no data whatsoever to substantiate this claim. Nor did he call out the rampant racism, hatred and violence displayed towards American Jews and Jewish institutions by Muslim Americans and their Israel-hating allies.

Not surprisingly, Biden has called on Netanyahu to have a “come to Jesus” moment, whatever that means, but has refused to call for any similar reckoning in Palestinian society, the Islamic world, domestic Israel-hating organizations or antisemitic campus groups.

The Biden administration is on the wrong side of history. America and Israel deserve better.

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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