Whereas President Joe Biden may not be antisemitic or anti-Zionist, many of his Democratic party elected officials have used antisemitic verbiage masquerading as anti-Zionism. Biden has failed to censure the likes of Somali-born Minnesota Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and others, for making vile antisemitic statements. Antisemitism has been on full display among democratic leaders and left-wing protest groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matters. Leaders of the Women’s March proved to be undeniably antisemitic, which caused the former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to distance herself from them. Still, those same antisemites including Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory were featured speakers at the 2020 Democratic convention. Now, the Biden administration has imposed an academic boycott on Israeli institutions beyond the Green Line, an act that joined Biden with the very antisemites he alleges to be fighting.
Ignoring the precedent of inviting an elected Israeli Prime Minister to the White House is a clear case of singling out Israel’s democratically elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and it smacks of ugly prejudice. Biden may not be personally hostile towards Netanyahu, but some of his left-wing Democrats in Congress are. The left-leaning mainstream US media has been carrying the mantra of the Israeli government being “the most right-wing in history,” a refrain repeated by the Biden administration as well. The double-standard is clear. In the European Union there are several right-wing governments, including the ones in Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, to name but a few. Yet, none of these countries has been excoriated in the way Israel has been by the left leaning media and the Biden administration. Lawrence J. Haas, former Senior official in the White House and Senior Fellow for the US Foreign Policy Council pointed out that snubbing Netanyahu “can’t be about human rights, because Israeli human rights violations pale in comparison to those of the autocrats with whom Biden has already met.” Biden made time to meet with adversaries such as China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, as well as Saudi Arabia’s effective ruler Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). Yet snubbing Israel, the most dependable and loyal American ally in the Middle East and beyond is, to many, including staunch Democrats, at the very least mystifying.
Biden’s snubbing of Netanyahu is having a significant impact in the Middle East. It is giving the Ayatollahs of Iran and their proxies, particularly the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, the confidence to challenge Israel by having its operatives set up tents on Israeli territory. It is a direct and unprecedented provocation that amounts to an invitation to war. In Tehran, snubbing Netanyahu is seen as Biden’s giving a cold shoulder to Israel. It is being interpreted as the US administration moving away from Netanyahu’s Israel. To the moderate Sunni-Muslim Arab states, it also appears as if the Biden administration is distancing itself from Jerusalem. Their conclusion is that if the Biden administration is treating the leader of its closest ally with such disdain, what else can they expect other than a similar attitude from Washington. They also recognize that the left-wing of the Democratic party is equally hostile to their interests, allegedly because of human rights violations.
Iran’s and Hezbollah’s confidence has been heightened by what the Tehran Times (July 14, 2023) discerned from an Israeli media report that allegedly reported that “The Israeli security establishment is confused over the developing crisis in the north against the background of Hezbollah’s threats.” The Tehran Times (an Iranian regime mouthpiece) then focused on what it described as the recent events, especially the chain of refusals of the reserve units of the Air Force to continue their volunteer services, which are triggered by a controversial plan called ‘judicial reforms’ and has dragged the occupied territories of Palestine into chaos for the past several months. The reserve pilots who are still serving as active pilots in fighter squadrons have not informed their commanders whether or not they are going to continue their refusal to report in as a protest to the judicial reforms. However, the army estimates that if the reforms and consequently, the demonstrations continue to soar, there will be a significant number of pilots who will avoid flying.” Many left-wing Israelis (with dubious funders) see an opportunity to bring down the Netanyahu government via the demonstrations, allegedly on behalf of democracy or the courts. They have found an ally in the left-oriented Biden administration. Both are endangering Israel’s security.
The irony in this situation is that Washington and Jerusalem share the same strategic interests, and they remain aligned on key regional goals, including containing Iran’s advancement toward a nuclear bomb, and foiling Tehran’s ballistic missile programs. Both the US and Israel would also like to see an Israeli-Saudi peace. So why is Biden refusing to invite Netanyahu to the White House? Is it because of the members of Netanyahu’s coalition partners Ben Gvir and Smotrich? Surely, he could find worse characters in the governments of China, Russia, Poland, and many more. Or is it perhaps Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria that might infringe on a future Palestinian state? None of these propositions can be considered viable excuses. Unlike the imperialistic conquests of Xi Jinping and Putin, Israel has as much legal rights to its historical homeland of Judea and Samaria as the Palestinians do. Yet, Biden had no problem meeting with Xi, Putin, and Mahmoud Abbas. Moreover, Israeli settlements are not the obstacle to peace and a Palestinian state. The Palestinians repeated refusal to accept the reality of Israel’s permanence and make reciprocal compromises for peace with the Jewish state, is the real problem. And if Biden is really seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians, he should focus on this Palestinian refusal to accept Israel’s permanent existence, Palestinian terror, and the ‘Hate Education’ the Palestinian youngsters and adults are getting, which is inimical to a permanent peace.
Paradoxically, in Biden’s refusal to welcome Netanyahu to the White House, he is employing the same double-standards my college professors did: holding Israel to a “higher standard.” It means holding Israel to a standard of moral purity that the US itself is not abiding by, let alone any other nation on earth. Frankly, it smacks of ugly prejudice!