Joe Biden has been looking for ways to distance the United States from Israel since the end of 2022. Now, with the recent mass protests over judicial reform in Israel, Biden has found his excuse to berate Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish state. More on this here: “In His Supposed “Concern” For Democracy, Biden Singles Out Israel,” by Daled Amos, Elder of Ziyon, March 31, 2023:
Among the casualties of the demonstrations in Israel opposing the judicial reforms is the relationship between Israel and the US, between Netanyahu and Biden.
But just how much of the current tension is recent?
Politico already reported back in December that the Biden administration was looking for a fight with Netanyahu:
The Biden administration will hold the presumptive Israeli prime minister personally responsible for the actions of his more extreme cabinet members, especially if they lead to policies that endanger a future Palestinian state, two U.S. officials familiar with the issue told POLITICO.
Netanyahu, as the member of his own government who is furthest to the left, has his hands full trying to contain the two most extreme members of his coalition, both of whom are given to wild remarks, and neither of whom has any sense of how the rest of the world receives their words: Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Netanyahu should be sympathized with, rather than held to account by, the Biden administration for the ill-considered words and behavior of Ben Gvir and Smotrich. He is clearly doing what he can, within reason, to hold them back, but not so alienating them that they pull out of his coalition and bring down his own government.
What was overlooked then, and overlooked (or ignored) now during the protests, is that Netanyahu had the backing of a majority of Israelis. Is the White House just looking for an excuse to destabilize the Israeli government?
For all of its preaching about democracy, when it comes to Israel, the Bidenites don’t care what the majority of Israelis want. They want an Israeli government that will be sufficiently pliant to bend to the will of Washington, and be willing, for the sake of that famous “two-state solution,” to allow their own tiny state to become tinier still, by allowing itself to be squeezed back within what the Arabs demurely call “the 1967 lines,” by which they mean the 1949 armistice lines. Within those lines, Israel would lose its protective depth both in the north, with the Golan Heights, and in the east, where it would lose its military control of the West Bank. It would again have only a nine-mile waist from Qalqilya to the sea. Without holding onto the West Bank, Israel could be wide open to an invader from the east who could slice the country in two within hours. It is this return to the 1949 armistice lines that Israel will never agree to, but that the Arabs – see the “Saudi Peace Plan” – continue to insist upon, and that the Bidenites seem all too willing to consider as a way forward to that “two-state solution” they are fixated on.
Is it surprising that Biden went out of his way to announce that there were no plans to invite Netanyahu to the US in the near future? Netanyahu had already agreed to suspend the push for the reforms for the time being, yet on Tuesday, Biden was still discussing the issue in public and saying that Bibi should drop the reforms altogether….
After Netanyahu had agreed to a compromise, had taken the bold step to suspend consideration of judicial reform for at least a month, and endured the anger of his own supporters on the right, one might have expected the Bidenites to express some appreciation. Not at all. It was then that Biden announced, quite unnecessarily, that he would not be inviting Netanyahu to the White House any time soon. He was pressing for Netanyahu to put away all plans for judicial reform. He should instead have congratulated Netanyahu on his willingness to compromise, and said that he looked forward “working with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the future.” Apparently there will be no attempt by Biden to bridge the gap that he himself has done so much to create between Israel and America.
The Biden Administration has allowed tensions between the two countries to reach the point that a NASA astrophysicist, Amber Straughn, who had been scheduled to be a keynote speaker at a conference in Israel, was forced by our government to cancel. An act of extraordinary — and characteristic — pettiness by the Biden Administration.
The Wall Street Journal…is unimpressed by Biden’s swipe at Netanyahu by publicly not inviting him to the White House — instead of giving him credit for reaching out to the opposition and looking for compromise. Biden’s “concern” for Israel is less an issue of preserving democracy and more one of “Woe betide the ally who runs afoul of American progressive opinion.”
The Journal notes that Biden cannot even project a consistent message on what he claims to expect from Israel and Netanyahu. On Monday, Biden said
Hopefully the Prime Minister will act in a way that he is going to try to work out some genuine compromise. But that remains to be seen.
But on Tuesday, Biden said about Netanyahu:
“I hope he walks away from it.”
So which is it? Does Biden want Netanyahu to work out some genuine compromise on the issue of judicial reform, or does he want Netanyahu to simply “walk away” from trying to obtain any such compromise, and instead to give the opposition what it wants?
Are Biden’s comments coming from a place of genuine concern, or a political agenda, fueled by left-wing Democrats who would like to see Netanyahu fail and Israel become more compliant?
Given their extremely unsympathetic treatment of Netanyahu, it seems clear that the Bidenites would like to bring down the democratically-elected Prime.Minister. He is an obstacle to their plan to impose a “two-state solution” on Israel; they want someone more pliant, like Yair Lapid, as Israel’s Prime Minister.
The Jewish Press notices a certain inconsistency in the US concern for democracy when it comes to Israel:
Funny observation: President Joe Biden, whose Attorney General leads the effort to prosecute the January 6 mob, today supports the efforts of Barak’s anarchists to storm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home on Gaza Street in Jerusalem, bring the government down to its knees by paralyzing the country with mass demonstrations and strikes, and force the Knesset majority to abandon its legislation.
According to the Bidenites, the Jan. 6 mob at the Capitol was very bad, but the more recent mobs trying to change government policies in Israel are just fine.
Foreign policy analyst Mitchell Bard points out another inconsistency in Biden’s claim of concern for democracy:
Contrast the vitriolic administration critique of the mechanisms of Israeli democracy with its total silence on the undemocratic behavior of the president of France. Just as tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated in opposition to the government’s position on judicial reform, even larger numbers of French citizens have been protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s unilateral decision to raise the retirement age. The State Department has not called on Macron to compromise with the protesters or questioned French democracy [as it has done with Netanyahu, and the Jewish state’s democracy].
Biden likes to remind us that he is a strong friend of Israel. But is that true? Biden’s imperviousness to Israel’s constant warnings that something must be down about the menace of a nuclear Iran suggests he is not overly concerned about the survival of the Jewish state. And with his refusal so far to provide Israel either with KS-46 Pegasus refueling tankers, that would be needed to refuel Israeli planes flying all the way to Iran and back, and refusing, too, to supply 30,000 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator bombs (MOP), or bunker-busters, which Israel would need to ensure the success of any attempt to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities deep underground at Natanz and Fordow, he is clearly trying to discourage an Israeli attack. If only Biden were to decide to match his claims of “longstanding support” for the Jewish state with deeds. He could –and should — start with those refueling tankers and bunker buster bombs. No time to waste, Joe.