Antony Blinken and Benjamin Netanyahu
Antony Blinken and Benjamin NetanyahuDavid Azagury, U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Larry Gordon is editor in chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times.

Here’s the problem we’re all dealing with and it could not be stated more bluntly. Joe Biden is a pro-Israel, pro-Zionist president who needs the votes of Jew-hating antisemites in order to win re-election. And therein lies the crux of one of the most pressing and troublesome issues of the day. This matter is crucial to understanding the current situation facing the country, and one of the primary reasons why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is insisting that the IDF move into Rafah in the next few weeks to finish the job of destroying Hamas and their leadership, who are most likely holed up there along with the remaining hostages taken from October 7.

Regardless of what anyone says, Israel has to finish the job.

The U.S. perspective on foreign policy is shortsighted and more than anything else, politically selfish. So, I suppose this is the bottom line. Is saying that you are pro-Israel or that you support Israel just as important as being critical of Israel, criticizing the Jewish state, but when push comes to shove are actually there for Israel?

The next presidential election will be decided by the Independent voters and those who are smart enough to think deeply and clearly about what is best for the future of this country and are not fooled by Biden’s or Schumer’s thin arguments that are critical of Israel.

The odd thing about politics in America is that every word uttered by a President is evaluated and analyzed for a deeper meaning to see whether there has been a fundamental change in U.S. policy, in this case, in the American attitude toward Israel. When Joe Biden is asked about Israel’s response and says he thinks Israel is going “over the top” in their Gaza military activities, there is really nothing behind what the president has said.

When Biden is asked an unscripted question that is followed by a thoughtless, unprepared response, this is what it fundamentally means: nothing.

After Biden said Israel was going over the top, his response was analyzed on some news programs for days. In actuality, all it entailed was a man groping for the right words, desperate to be politically correct by not throwing a wrench too deeply into international relations.

The same goes for Chuck Schumer. His infuriating remarks about Israel were apparently more obviously prepared and written. But what he really wanted to convey was lost to everyone—both right and left. In other words, no one was happy with Chuck.

As long as we’re on the subject of poorly-selected words to convey a message, the leader of this is, unfortunately, Donald Trump. I’m an admirer of his political policies, but I’m also deeply frustrated by the difficult and challenging way he struggles to convey an idea.

Regarding Trump, it’s a question of whether he understands the matter at hand or does not, and cannot help but relay his thoughts in a blunt, unrefined manner. I heard Trump say to reporter Howard Kurtz of Fox News the other day that he chooses to say these things in what may seem to be a wild and irresponsible manner because that’s what gets him the most media attention. While that may be true, it’s also true that those off-the-cuff remarks are not helping him much.

Trump made a statement last week that, “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel and they should be ashamed of themselves.” Believe me when I tell you two things. The first is that I understand clearly what he’s trying to say. And secondly, that is probably the worst way anyone can express that idea.

We are small in number, but as thin as our global numbers are, we are also deeply divided along multiple demarcation lines. It’s wrong to say that Jews who vote for Democrats hate our religion. I’ve voted for Democrats in the past and I don’t hate my religion. Most of the times I voted for Democrats there was either no choice or I was just misinformed.

Jews who decide to vote for Democrats in 2024 when it comes to the subject of Israel simply have no understanding of what it means to be a Jew or worse, they have no background in Judaism or no understanding of their religion or religious identity.

Last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that an IDF invasion of Rafah will leave the State of Israel more isolated than ever before. I listened to those words that were meant to frighten us and thought, “Oh, thank G-d, we are finally getting there.”

As far as Israel’s and the Jewish people’s historical isolation that has been the norm for thousands of years, we will get to that idea of where it comes from in a few lines. But first let’s look at the flip side, to see how our attempt to blend in with the other nations over these past few thousand years has turned out.

In short, it has not worked out very well.

When the Moabite King Balak retained the services of the great Gentile prophet Bilaam, his number one job was to curse the Jewish people as a way of preventing them from fulfilling G-d’s wish that His people, Am Yisrael, enter and settle what would ultimately become the land of Israel.

It seems that Balak had a deficient perspective on the way G-d works when He’s playing out his long-term game plan for the Jewish people. Let’s just say that anyone who thinks they are going to upend His plan has a considerable lack of foresight and understanding about how the earthly sphere floating in His universe works.

But, as we know from our Torah studies, Hashem did not allow Bilaam to curse the Jews. On the contrary, while Bilaam intended to vocalize damaging curses to the fledgling Jewish nation, his words came out as blessings for our people.

One of the things the prophet Bilaam saw as part of the future of the Jewish people was that we are a nation “destined to dwell apart.” Message to Tony Blinken: G-d’s plan for the Jewish people is to be an “am levadad yishkon,” or a nation that dwells in isolation, and if required, completely separate from the rest of the world.

But that is not Tony Blinken’s problem to figure out, even though he is one of the 16 million people in the world that call themselves Jewish. In fact, Blinken sees it the opposite: that the purpose of the Jewish people is to work nonstop, around-the-clock to ensure we are seen and accepted just like all the other 193 nations of the world.

The U.N. would be the proper forum to judge how we are advancing as a people in that direction. But when you consider how vociferously Israel has been attacked and condemned by their fellow nations, it’s easy to conclude that our progress in that regard has been a stunning failure.

And that is what the long sought-after idea of a two-state solution is all about. That is, Israel’s acceptance as a legitimate Jewish state living side-by-side with another Arab state, or, in this case, the 23rd Muslim Arab state in the Middle East.

The Jews accept this idea, but the Arabs who live next to Israel, namely, the Palestinians, resolutely deny this can ever happen. The idea is unthinkable to them.

President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken know that a two-state solution with these characters in Ramallah or Gaza is impossible. That is why his speechwriter snuck into his State of the Union speech the need for a “two-state solution,” but then quickly added the words “over time,” which no one noticed.

This means that Biden’s foreign policy speechwriters understand that yes, there can be a two-state solution, but that can only happen over time, which could mean anything from five years to five hundred years. Anything but admit to the voters in Michigan that a new Palestine is not going to happen anytime soon. Which gives us an example of what the Biden administration does best: provide America with false and deceptive hopes.

There was a recording circulating last week with Rabbi Meir Kahane, obm, retelling the story of when he was serving in the military reserves and was assigned the task of putting down a riot taking place in Ramallah. He said that as soon as the Arab leaders heard that Kahane was in Ramallah, the rioting stopped. He said the rioting stopped because the Arabs understood that if Kahane was there, then there could be terror and the local Arabs were afraid.

Kahane went on to say that he is not interested in being loved by non-Jews. He said the only time non-Jews love us is after a Holocaust or pogrom. “I’m tired of Kaddish, I’m tired of yahrzeits, we don’t need monuments, plaques, or commissions to study why we are being systematically murdered.”

Most of us probably agree that after October 7, we don’t need the sympathy of the U.S. or the U.N. Modern-day Jews and Israeli Jews are capable of defending themselves and fighting back. And in this context, Israeli military leaders have determined that to safeguard the future of Israel and the Jewish people, Hamas must be destroyed and completely eliminated. It may be a disappointment to Biden and Blinken, but Israel is not in the position of having to worry about the Muslim voters in Michigan or Nevada. Joe Biden is aware of this reality, but the people around him are not allowing him to express that awareness and that is truly tragic.