Based on his history as a senator and VP before he was elected, this site predicted that President Joe Biden would not be pro-Israel. Sadly, while Joe Biden has been President for only 25 months, early indications are that his post-office legacy won’t include “friend of Israel.” But then he never was.
Even before he joined Barack Obama on the 2008 ticket, Biden seemed to agree with the future President that the Israeli communities they called “settlements” were the root of all evil. The problem with that stance was that it prevented peace talks. During the Bush administration, there were Israel/Palestinian talks despite Israel expanding those communities. When Obama/Biden made the settlements an issue, it gave the Palestinian Arabs an excuse to stop talking, so they did.
Perhaps the most famous example of Biden’s over-emphasis on the 'settlement issue' was a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in 1982. The committee was interviewing the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin. Biden got into a verbal battle with Begin and lost miserably/
Sen. Joe Biden (Delaware) attacked the Israeli “settlements” in Judea and Samaria (commonly called the 'West Bank'. If Israel didn’t stop building the communities Immediately, said Biden, he’d ensure U.S. economic aid would stop.
Begin shot back at Biden:
“Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
When Begin said, “Nobody came to our aid….” he wasn’t talking about the heroes who put their bodies and lives on the line to fight Hitler or the soldiers who liberated the concentration camps. Begin was talking about the allied leaders such as FDR, who could have saved victims but thought the U.S. already had too many Jews. Or Winston Churchill, who refused to ignore the 1939 White Paper (he designed the initial version in 1918). The 1939 white paper limited the number of Jews returning to their eternal homeland to 75K total over the five years beginning in 1939.
Not learning his lesson from the first threat, Biden raised his voice at Begin and banged twice on the table. Begin angrily responded:
“This desk is designed for writing, not for fists. Don’t threaten us with slashing aid. Do you think that because the U.S. lends us money, it is entitled to impose on us what we must do? We are grateful for the assistance we have received, but we are not to be threatened. I am a proud Jew. Three thousand years of culture are behind me, and you will not frighten me with threats. Take note: we do not want a single soldier of yours to die for us.”
The NY Times reported Begin’s very diplomatic comment about the meeting.
Mr. Begin said: “I enjoyed the session very much. I believe in liberty that free men should freely discuss problems, and if they have differences of opinion, they should voice them in sincerity.” “I said it was a lively discussion. If you want to use other adjectives. …” He paused, then said, “Lively is enough.’
Throughout his senate career, Joe Biden ignored the easiest pro-Israel actions, nonbinding pro-Israel resolutions. Some of the resolutions called Bubba Clinton to press Syria to free the Jews locked in the county, supporting Israel’s efforts to make peace. He refused to sign the talent/Nelson Letter Urging Pres. Bush #43 to press Palestinian Arab leadership to bar terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian Legislative Elections. The letter had 73 co-signers then- Sen. Biden did not sign this letter.
As he neared becoming Vice President, Joe Biden got even worse. Two months before he was elected to be Barack Obama’s number two, syndicated radio host Hugh Hewitt reported:
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden was quoted Monday as telling senior Israeli officials behind closed doors that the Jewish state will have to reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran. (…)
“Israel will have to reconcile itself with the nuclearization of Iran,” Israell Army Radio quoted Biden as telling the unnamed officials. “It’s doubtful if the economic sanctions will be effective, and I am against opening an additional military and diplomatic front.
Ed Morrissey, Managing Editor of Hot Air, discussed Hewitt’s report and news about Biden’s comments in Ha’aretz, Jerusalem Post, and elsewhere.
In 2021 Joe Biden was inaugurated and became the fourteenth American President since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. The easiest way to describe President Biden’s relationship with Israel after two years is, “so far, no good.”
He began his Presidency by selecting Israeli haters and/or Iran apologists to join his team. Some of them have left the administration, but that happens In every administration.
Examples of that problematic staff included:
Avril Haines,Director of National Intelligence (DNi) Ms. Haines’ appointment was endorsed by the anti-Israel group J-Street. She signed their letter to the DNC berating them for being “silent on the rights of Palestinians and on Israeli actions that undermine those rights.’
John Kerry- Climate Czar. Kerry believed Israel couldn’t make peace with any Arab state until peace was made with the Palestinian Authority. Kerry lied to the American people about the details of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal to make it look better. In 2018 Kerry told a representative of Palestinian Authority’s President Abbas to ignore Trump’s demands because he’ll be out of office within a year.
Karine Jean Pierre- initially Deputy Press Secretary. Wrote an op-ed in Newsweek urging Democrats not to attend the 2020 AIPAC convention. She slandered Israel when the IDF was defending Israeli citizens against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists who set off explosives at Israel’s border fence, trying to allow 30,000 Hamas-led Arabs to invade Israel and commit more violence.
Robert Malley– Special Envoy To Iran. Not often do I lay the sins of the father on the son, but in this case, it is part of the story. Robert Malley’s dad was an Israel hater and friend of Yasser Arafat. Perhaps this was why Malley was the ONLY American who was part of President Clinton’s peace negotiating team to blame Israel for Arafat walking out of the talk. The others involved, including the former President, Bubba, said Yasser Arafat walked away from a “sweetheart” deal. Malley served under three different Presidents. Between his White House jobs, Malley publicly trashed Israel and promoted the terrorist group Hamas as an essential peace partner.
There are many others, but I don’t have enough bandwidth.
One of the most positive events in Israel’s seventy-five-year history was the Abraham Accords. Announced September 13, 2020, the accords were Israel’s first peace with Arab nations in 24 years. Along with ending a state of war between Israel and the participating nations, they included agreements of economic cooperation. Thus, demonstrating the economic benefits of peace with Israel’s multi-faceted solid economy. Over four months, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan made peace with the Jewish state. At the end of the Trump administration, the foggy bottom (State Dept) scuttlebutt was other countries, including Saudi Arabia, would soon hop on the peace train.
After his inauguration, Biden refused to continue the momentum that began with the accords. Instead, President Biden returned to the old unsuccessful strategy of no peace with other Arab nations until there is peace with the Palestinian Authority (which refuses to negotiate) and “land for peace” instead of “peace for peace.” The President and his foreign policy team are not fans of the Abraham Accords. Therefore, it has no chance of expanding to other countries during his term.
In March 2021, Bidens Secretary of State Blinken announced the resumption of U.S. funding for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Administration. The UNRWA has allowed itsfacilities and even its schools to act as a terrorist base, and when they were exposed for storing missiles in their schools, they handed them back to Hamas to shoot at innocent Jews.
Adding to the above is Biden ignoring the Taylor Force Act, and also trying to return the U.S. back to the horrible JCPOA Iran deal, which is not only an existential threat to Israel but also to the United States and the Sunni gulf states
Biden pressured Israel to rejoin UNESCO, a UN-Palestinian tool that denies any Jewish heritage sites in Israel, such as the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Israel didn’t join).
After only 25 months as President, Joe Biden has shown himself to be the same person who banged on a table and threatened Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin if Israel didn’t stop building communities in Judea and Samaria.
He still has two years left in this term to redeem himself from his Presidency. There is still time to avoid an anti-Israel legacy. But the administration's immediate condemnation of Israel's legalization of 9 existing communities over the Green Line means I won’t be holding my breath, since I don’t look good in blue.
Jeff Dunetz is editor/publisher of the blog "The Lid." and a contributor to Israel National News and The Jewish Press. He is a weekly Thursday Guest on The Schaftlein Report, a National Board Member of Herut North America and Herut Representative on The AZM Board