If former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden prevails in the vote today, it looks as if the first two losers overseas could be Britain and Israel. That’s the gist of reports coming out of London, Europe and Jerusalem. They suggest that a President Biden, if that’s what happens, would move quickly to address Palestinian Arab concerns, stepping back from Israel, and to make a declaration for the European Union.
One report to that effect, in DE24News, quotes Anthony Gardner, an adviser to the Biden campaign and a former American ambassador to the European Union, as suggesting in remarks in Germany that Mr. Biden would “prioritize relations with the European Union over the historic ‘special relationship’ between the United States and the United Kingdom promoted by President Donald Trump.”
The report quotes an article in the London Daily Telegraph, which reports that Gardner, speaking in Germany, said that if Biden wins the election, the new administration would announce a “declaration of support for the European Union.” It quotes Gardner as suggesting that such a declaration of support for the European Union, European integration, and NATO could happen “quickly, maybe on the first day.”
Meanwhile, California Sen. Kamala Harris is being quoted by the Arab American News as saying that a Biden administration would, in a turn away from U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies, “take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.”
In the interview, it also quotes the vice-presidential nominee as saying that a Biden administration would “reassess the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia and end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.” The senator’s comments could foreshadow a halt to the burst of peacemaking between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Then again, too, the reports are a reminder that the foreign policies of Trump and his Democratic opponents differ not only in respect of such adversaries as Russia and Communist China, but also in respect of our allies. Former President Barack Obama had bluntly opposed Brexit, even threatening shortly before the country’s Brexit referendum that an independent Britain would land at the back of the queue for a trade deal.
Britons turned around and voted to leave the European Union anyhow. Gardner, who is being touted as a possible envoy to Britain in a Biden administration, is quoted by DE24News as having said that he didn’t want to talk about Brexit, but nonetheless having declared that “Europe has to move on.” He characterized Brexit as the “biggest own goal I’ve seen in my life.”
During the Thatcher years, it became clear that not only was the European Union seeking to impose statist, Socialistic-type policies on Britain, but that the European mandarins in Brussels had emerged as hostile to America. On the day after Britain voted to quit the European Union, Trump issued a tweet noting that many people were equating “BREXIT, and what is going on in Great Britain, with what is happening in the U.S.”
“People,” the future president tweeted, “want their country back!”
In any event, if Biden is elected, the sudden shifts in policy that are being signaled couldn’t come at a worse time for both Britain and Israel. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s center-right-led coalition government is hanging by a thread. In London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is under pressure to sign a disadvantageous exit agreement with Europe. So both special relationships could be in trouble.
From an editorial in “The New York Sun” published on Nov. 3, 2020.