OpinionU.S.-Israel Relations

What would you do to save Israel?

Would you vote to put a proven enemy of Israel in the White House?

U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv on Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv on Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Bob Zeidman
Bob Zeidman is the creator of the field of software forensics and founder of several successful high-tech Silicon Valley firms.

I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s in a Jewish neighborhood in Philadelphia. One game we played was “What would you do?” Usually, this involved silly questions like, “What would you do if a snake was crawling up your leg?” or “What would you do if you fell into a vat of chocolate?”

My grandparents on both sides escaped pogroms in Ukraine and Poland. Aunts and uncles survived the Nazi death camps, the numbers on their arms remaining as proof. My father and uncle fought in World War II. My father taught us about the war, the antisemitism he encountered in the U.S. Army, antisemitism around the world and the glorious miracle of modern-day Israel.

So, on Oct. 6, 1973, during breaks from Yom Kippur services, weak from fasting, the kids in my neighborhood gathered around a radio listening to the news about Israel. We knew what Israel meant to the Jewish people. We knew that without our homeland, we would once again be victims of horrific crimes. We knew that tiny Israel was being attacked by a coalition of Arab armies that greatly outnumbered the Israeli forces and had sworn to drive the Jews into the sea. We were terribly frightened. As we listened, we played our game, but with more seriousness than ever before. We asked, “What would you do to save Israel?”

Some of us would fly a fighter jet over enemy territory. Others would march to the front lines, weapons in hand. Others would fly to Israel to aid the wounded. Some would donate their life savings to help the struggling nation. Of course, we were kids, so there was not much we could do but listen, talk and wait.

My father felt much the same. But when he talked, his voice was filled with regret because he sensed that maybe he really could do something but wasn’t sure what. Too old to fly planes or fight on the ground, not having money to spare and with a heart condition that made travel difficult, the 19 days of war ate away at him.

The kids in the neighborhood swore that, when we were older, we would stand by Israel in any way we could.

We had long since become adults when the Oct. 7 massacre came. For a short time, Jews put aside their differences and united behind Israel’s war against the most savage, devastating attack on Jews since the Holocaust.

“What would you do to save Israel” was heard again amongst my childhood friends, except this time we could actually do something. Some of us donated money. Some went to Israel to farm the land while Israelis fought, others to give comfort to victims. Some gave speeches to large groups, some wrote articles for national publications, others loudly and publicly protested the antisemitism infesting campuses, Hollywood and beyond.

Initially, President Joe Biden came out strongly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense. He declared that Israel must destroy the terrorist group Hamas. When my Republican friends criticized Biden, I defended him. Yes, he had given billions of dollars to Iran, removed sanctions, begun negotiations, and tried to reintroduce the Iran deal. But now, when Israel needed the U.S, he made it clear to the world that America has Israel’s back.

But this is an election year. The progressive anti-Israel left, led by the antisemitic Squad, put public pressure on Biden. Voters in Michigan made good on their promise to withhold their votes in the primaries. The Democrats’ left-wing base held loud protests. Biden’s vice president started calling for a ceasefire, which without the release of the remaining hostages would only allow Hamas to regroup and continue to murder, rape and torture Jews.

Then Biden started calling for a ceasefire. He released yet another $10 billion to Iran, the funder of Hamas and numerous terror groups around the world. It came out that Biden had secretly restarted negotiations with the Islamic tyranny.

Then Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the removal of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He didn’t call for the removal of Vladimir Putin of Russia, Ebrahim Raisi of Iran, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas or North Korean President Kim Jong Un. He called for the removal of the democratically elected leader of Israel. And Biden agreed.

Then Biden abandoned Israel at the U.N. by refusing to veto a Security Council resolution demanding that Israel cease its elimination of Hamas while not demanding the release of the hostages.

Israel, of course, will ignore the resolution because Israel will protect its citizens and Jews around the world at any cost. This is not a right or left issue. It’s not a Likud Party or Labor Party issue. It’s not a Netanyahu or anti-Netanyahu issue. It’s because defending Jews is Israel’s main reason for existence. The Israeli people are united on this issue. Their leaders from all parties are united on this issue. Jews in the Diaspora should be united on this issue.

So, what would you do to save Israel? Would you vote to put a proven enemy of Israel into office for a second term? Because in four more years, with the help of an anti-Israel U.S. president and a fully funded, nuclear-powered Iran, there is little doubt that Israel could cease to exist. I can live with anyone in the White House, regardless of their policies, if they support Israel. But with a president who does not support Israel, not only is Israel’s future in doubt but the future of all Jews around the world.

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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