OpinionU.S. News

Pro-Israel Americans need to send Biden a message

They need to make it loud and clear that they won’t vote for him if he abandons Israel while it is fighting for its survival.

Detroit March for Science 2017. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Detroit March for Science 2017. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Mitchell Bard
Mitchell Bard
Mitchell Bard is a foreign-policy analyst and an authority on U.S.-Israel relations who has written and edited 22 books, including The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews and After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.

Joe Biden is in serious trouble. The latest Gallup poll shows his approval rating is the lowest in history before an election; other polls show Democrats prefer he withdraw from the race. He is hemorrhaging constituents from his base, such as young voters, Hispanics and blacks. In some national polls, he trails Donald Trump and is in danger of losing swing states. Another indication Biden is losing support is that only 62% have a favorable opinion of him in the latest Pew survey

Biden is torn between conflicting impulses: his innate love of the Jewish state; his disdain for the Israeli prime minister; his humanitarian impulse to save Palestinians; a false messianic belief that he can bring peace to the Middle East; and his advisors telling him he must sell out Israel to win re-election.

Pundits are talking a lot about his narrow margin of victory in 2020. He can’t afford to lose key constituencies—and that includes Jews. We, too, can vote “uncommitted” to demonstrate that our support cannot be taken for granted.

Biden should be reminded that Jimmy Carter’s insistence on the creation of a Palestinian state and hostility towards Israel were among the reasons Jews abandoned him for Ronald Reagan and third-party candidate John Anderson in 1980. Carter has blamed Jews for his loss ever since.

The pro-Israel community, which includes non-Jews, needs to let Biden know that they might not vote for Trump, but they will not vote for him if he abandons Israel while it is fighting for its survival. They may sit out in the election or vote for Robert Kennedy Jr., who has stood up for Israel.

The president is being pressured to sell out Israel to the terrorist supporters in the Democratic Party for the sake of another four-year term and betray the Jewish people in the United States and abroad to the anti-Semites. It would be unforgivable.

Is Biden’s team so naive that it believes people who praise Hamas’s massacre of Jews will be appeased by providing aid and promises of statehood to the Palestinians? He can do nothing to mollify his left-wing critics short of abandoning Israel to the terrorists and joining the chorus that seeks to turn the Jewish state into an international pariah.

He is wrong to tell Israel it must make protecting Palestinian lives a priority. Just as Biden recognizes his obligation to defend the United States against all threats, foreign and domestic, so does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither is sworn to protect non-citizens over their own.

According to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, “Any military campaign, military operation that Israel undertakes needs to put civilians first and foremost in mind.”

Balderdash.

The United States never has, and never would, fight a war that way. Israel’s prime minister, like the president, must prioritize the lives of the soldiers defending the nation and its citizens.

Netanyahu cannot give in to threats; otherwise, he will be the first prime minister to cede sovereign Israeli territory to the enemy and deny tens of thousands of Israelis the freedom to live safely in their homes. Equally concerning is that Biden seems bent on regime change in Israel, a democratic ally, while enabling the enemy Islamic regime Iran.

Biden’s wavering support for Israel poses a direct threat to its survival. His push for a two-state solution disregards the realities on the ground and the existential dangers Israel faces. We cannot afford to stand by idly while policies are crafted that endanger the safety and security of our ally.

Neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris will benefit from using Harris as a surrogate to criticize Israel. This will remind many pro-Israel voters why they didn’t support her when she ran for president and scare them over the possibility of her succeeding Biden.

Presidents always pander, so it’s not surprising that in his desperation to hold the must-win state of Michigan, he has been trying to appeal to angry Arab and Muslim voters who make up a meaningful bloc in one city out of more than 19,500 in America.

According to the nonpartisan National Opinion Research Center, Biden received 68% of the Jewish vote, the lowest total of any Democrat since Michael Dukakis in 1988. That was likely due to fears that he would adopt the policies of his former boss, whose support among Jews dropped from 78% to 69%.

Biden has been far better for Israel than Barack Obama. I’ve enumerated some of the ways in the past, but he has become openly hostile to Israel’s prime minister and, by extension, the people of Israel. Many Israelis share his disdain for Netanyahu, but, as Netanyahu correctly said in response to Biden’s attack on him, they agree with his approach to the war.

The four states with the largest Jewish population are worth 126 electoral votes, and the top 12—271, one more than needed to win the presidency. Three of the top four are solidly Democratic (New York, California, and New Jersey), so the Jewish vote doesn’t matter. But what about the swing states?

The focus has been on Michigan because of its population of disgruntled Arab voters, but it isn’t the only state that matters. Six other states were decided by less than three percentage points in 2020: Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Nevada. Since 2000, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia have matched the winner of all but one election.

How does the race stand in those states, and can Jews make a difference? The table shows the Jewish population; the most recent polling by state; the margin in favor of Biden; and his margin of victory by vote in 2020. Notice that six of the 11 had narrower margins than Michigan, and all of them have larger Jewish populations than Arab ones. Can Biden afford to lose Jewish votes in Arizona and Georgia, where he won by less than 12,000 votes?

Jewish Population in Swing States. Sources: Bloomberg, 538, Statista, 270towin, FEC.

Biden should know the Arab/Muslim community is not monolithic. Only about a quarter of American Muslims are of Arab descent, so not all are part of the anti-Israel lynch mob. The Lebanese, who are also concentrated in Dearborn, Mich., are mostly Christians who abhor the Palestinians because they made their lives hellish in Lebanon.

Israel’s detractors will most likely hold their noses and vote for Biden. They could sit out the election, but it’s hard to imagine them shifting to the Muslim-banning Trump. It would be typical, though, for the Palestinians and their supporters to cut off their noses to spite their faces. Just as Palestinians would rather live as they do than accept a Jewish state, their supporters here prefer throwing a tantrum and the election to Trump to accepting the defense of our ally against the people who would persecute them if they lived under their rule.

Now is the time for us to stand united in defense of Israel. We cannot afford to let a vocal minority drown out our voices. Let us remind Biden that the strength of our support for Israel far outweighs the influence of those who seek to undermine it.

By voting uncommitted, we can send a powerful message and ensure America’s commitment to Israel remains unwavering.

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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