Biden’s speech had some good parts, sure to infuriate the Palestinians and hearten the Israelis, but also contained some statements that called for the Rewrite Office. His speech, with interspersed commentary, is here:
President Herzog, Mr. Prime Minister Lapid, it’s an honor to once again stand with friends, and visit the independent Jewish State of Israel.
President Nixon was the first American president to visit Israel in 1974. I was actually – my first visit was, as you mentioned, as a young United States Senator from Delaware, in 1973, just a few weeks before the Yom Kippur War.
I had the privilege of spending time with Prime Minister Golda Meir. I’ll never forget, I was sitting next to a gentleman on my right, one of her aides. His name was Rabin. I look back on it all now and I realize that I had the great honor of living part of the great history of this country.
And I say again, you need not be Jew to be a Zionist.
The fact is that since then I’ve known every single prime minister, and it’s been an honor. I’ve formed strong working relationships with each of them, and now, this is my 10th visit.
Every chance to return to this great country where the ancient roots of the Jewish People date back to biblical times, is a blessing. Because the connection between the Israeli people and the American people is bone deep, it’s bone deep.
The Palestinians, who claim both that “Palestine” has always been an Islamic land, and that they are the direct descendants of the Canaanites, the land’s original inhabitants, were infuriated by Biden’s mention of this “great country where the ancient roots of the Jewish People date back to biblical times.”
I’m not sure that the connection between Americans and Israelis is quite so “bone-deep” as Biden insists. Would that it were so. Certainly it not “bone-deep” among members of his own party, including Senator Bernie Sanders and the “infamous Squad” of “progressives” in the Democratic Party, including its original members – Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz, and Ayanna Pressley, who have been joined by others of the same bent, including Cori Bush, Betty McCollum, and Joaquin Castro — who share the Squad’s deep antipathy to the Jewish state. That “bone-deep” connection is not even apparent in members of Biden’s handpicked staff, including his choice of Deputy Assistant to the President, and now the Presidential spokesman, Karine Jean-Pierre, who before being chosen by him for that post had called for a boycott of AIPAC. Apparently such a view did not prevent Joe Biden from elevating her to being the public face of his office.
There are many other people in the Biden Administration who do not have a “bone-deep” connection to Israel, but rather, a deep antipathy to the Jewish state. These include:
Reema Dodin, who is now the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. She is the most senior Palestinian-American woman to serve in the executive. During the Second Intifada, in 2002, Dodin spoke about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with residents of Lodi, California, saying that “suicide bombers were the last resort of a desperate people,” according to the Lodi News-Sentinel.
In 2001, Dodin took part in a demonstration at UC Berkeley calling for the university to divest from Israel, The demonstrators compared Israel to apartheid South Africa.
Hady Amr, who is now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He served as a Fellow at the Brookings’ Doha Center for Qatar.
Robert Malley, who is the U.S. Special Envoy on Iran. He has been a frequent critic of Israel and a vocal supporter of the Iran nuclear deal.
Avril Haines, who is now the Director of National Intelligence. She signed a letter urging the Democratic Party to change its platform to include language opposing settlement expansion and the “occupation,” and demanding more support for the Palestinians.
Maher Bitar is the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council. Bitar, a Palestinian American, served on the board of the virulently anti-Israel group Students for Justice for Palestine.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry is the White House special envoy on climate. Though not directly involved in Israel-related issues, he was a vitriolic critic of Israel and a negotiator of the Iran deal in the Obama administration.
Perhaps some Republicans will now take it upon themselves to note Biden’s claim of a “stone-cold” connection between Americans and Israelis, and suggest that he ought to take another look at some of his own high-ranking appointees who apparently don’t agree.
Generation after generation that connection grows. We invest in each other. We dream together. We’re part of what has always been the objective we both had.
Another Senior Moment, I’m afraid. “W’re part of what has always been the objective we both had.” You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din, if you can figure out what that remark was supposed to mean.
I’ve been part of that [support for Zionism] as a Senator, as a Vice President, and quite frankly, before that, having been raised by a righteous Christian, when we had dinner at our table every night before he went back to work. It was a place where we had conversation, and incidentally, ate.
And I remember he taught us all about what happened in the Holocaust – why weren’t the tracks bombed, why did we not – why why, why? He imbued in us a sense of obligation that we all have.
“Why weren’t the tracks bombed”? Biden’s mentioning those tracks — the tracks to Auschwitz — is both unusual and very important.. Biden is reminding Americans, many of whom will never have heard about it, of the shameful refusal of the American government to bomb the railroad tracks to Auschwitz at a time when such a bombing might have prevented the deaths of more than 1.1 million Jews. The real villain of the piece was Deputy Secretary of War John J. McCloy, who turned the proposal down flat. McCloy had little sympathy for Jews; after the war, when he was the US High Commissioner in Germany from 1949 to 1952, McCloy distinguished himself by freeing many Nazi war criminals.
And now as president, I’m proud to say that our relationship with the State of Israel is deeper and stronger, in my view, than it’s ever been. And with this visit, we’re strengthening our connection even further.
We have reaffirmed the unshakable commitment of the United States to Israel’s security, including partnering with Israel on the most cutting-edge defense systems in the world.
From here, I’m going straight to a briefing on Israeli missiles and rocket defense capabilities, including the US support for the Iron Dome, and Israel’s new laser enabled system called the Iron Beam. We’re going to deepen our connections in science and innovation, and work to address global challenges through the new strategic high-level dialogue on technology.
We’ll continue to advance Israel’s integration into the region, expand emerging forums and engagement like the new 12U2 summit which will bring Israel, the United States, the UAE together and India, as well to deepen our economic cooperation between the Middle East and the Indo Pacific.
Greater peace, greater stability, greater connection. It’s critical, it’s critical if I might add, for all the people of the region.Which is why we’ll discuss my continued support, even though I know it’s not in the near term, of a two-state solution. That remains in my view, the best way to ensure the [sic] future of equal measure of freedom, prosperity, and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
This line has become the mantra of the Bidenites: they keep saying they want “to ensure a future of equal measure of freedom, prosperity, and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians alike.” This is, of course, absurd. How can the Palestinians, who have never known anything but despotism from Hamas in Gaza and from the PA in the West Bank, who have been ruled only by the massively corrupt and the incompetent, ever be expected to have an “equal measure of freedom, security, and prosperity” as Israelis enjoy in one of the most advanced democratic states in the Western world? How likely is it that an “equal measure of freedom” could be possible for the Palestinians, when not a single one of the 22 Arab states – monarchies and despotisms and a handful of pseudo-democracies – offers such freedom as Israelis possess? How can the Palestinians enjoy the “equal prosperity” that the well-educated and endlessly innovative Israelis have managed to create for themselves? How can they enjoy an “equal level of security” when they grow up in societies imbued with violence that is visited upon those who differ in religion or ethnicity, violence that erupts even within families, among tribes, between nation-states. Look at Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon for examples of this violence. This violence is only held in check by despotic regimes that possess all the power of the state, as do the ruling families – the Al-Saud, Al-Maktoum, Al-Nahyan, Al-Thani, Al-Sabah – of the Gulf. This wish for there to be “equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy” for both the Jews of Israel, who are among the most advanced of peoples, and the Palestinians, who are among the most retrograde, is terminally naive. It’s like insisting that the Bushmen of the Kalahari should be guaranteed “equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity” as the Balliol College dons.
We’re going to celebrate the ending [sic]of people-to-people connections, and the enduring connection that binds our nations together, commemorate the history that we must never allow to repeat itself.
Biden is 79. I’m afraid his age is showing in this verbal stumble. We are not celebrating “the ending” of people-to-people connections, but the reverse: the “beginning” of people-to-people connections, between Israelis and those Arabs who have chosen to join the Abraham Accords. That people-to-people connection is occurring in the UAE and Bahrain, where Israeli businessmen and tourists have been warmly welcomed, have been able to open synagogues, kosher restaurants, and kashrut-observant hotels. That is the kind of people-to-people exchange that Biden was attempting to celebrate, but failed as the wrong word slipped out.
Later today I will once more return to the hallowed ground of Yad Vashem to honor six million Jewish lives stolen in the genocide, and continue, which we must do every, every day, continue to bear witness. To keep alive the truth and horror of the Holocaust, honor those we lost, so that we never, ever, ever forget that lesson. You know, and to continue our shared and unending work to fight the poison of antisemitism, wherever it rises[sic its ugly head. Wherever we find it in the world, we make real [sic] on the promise of “never again” by taking it on.
The leading Holocaust deniers are now to be found among the Palestinians, whose leaders proclaim either that there never was a Holocaust or, if there were “some” killings of Jews, the numbers of the victims have been greatly exaggerated by the Zionists, who have thereby managed to obtain the world’s sympathy for Israel, even as those Israelis mistreat the Palestinians who, we are expected to believe, are the world’s “new Jews.”
The best known of the Arab Holocaust deniers is none other than Mahmoud Abbas, President-for-Life of the Palestinian Authority, now in the 15th year of his four-year term. In 1984, he earned his doctorate at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a thesis entitled The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism. According to Abbas, the Zionists were in cahoots with the Nazis. Those evil Zionists figured that if the Nazis persecuted Jews in Europe, more of them would flee to Palestine. And for the Zionists, that was all that mattered.
In his thesis, Abbas said the “so-called” Holocaust had been exaggerated and Zionists had created the “myth of the six million dead,” which was, according to Abbas, a ”fantastic lie.”
Here is a key paragraph in Abbas’ dissertation:
It seems that the interest of the Zionist movement, however, is to inflate this figure [of Holocaust deaths] so that their gains will be greater. This led them to emphasize this figure [six million] in order to gain the solidarity of international public opinion with Zionism. Many scholars have debated the figure of six million and reached stunning conclusions — fixing the number of Jewish victims at only a few hundred thousand.
Elsewhere in his work, Abbas says that perhaps a somewhat greater number or Jews, possibly as many as 800,000, died. But he was sure of one thing – the total was nowhere near six million; that claim had to have been a deliberate fabrication.
In his speech at Ben Gurion, Biden ought to have mentioned not just the duty to remember the Holocaust, but the need to hold up today’s Holocaust-deniers “from wherever they come,” to our collective horror and moral disgust. He needs to be informed about Mahmoud Abbas as a Holocaust denier; that might lead to a salutary change in his attitude toward the rais in Ramallah.
And when Biden mentions the need to confront antisemitism wherever it appears, one has to ask if he thinks he’s been doing enough in that respect. He proclaimed at the airport the need “to continue our shared and unending work to fight the poison of antisemitism, wherever it rises[sic] its ugly head. Wherever we find it in the world, we make real on the promise of ‘never again’ by taking it on.“
Well, what about Palestinian antisemitism? Why does Biden continue to lavish huge sums — $500 million by his own self-satisfied account – on the PA? Doesn’t he know about the antisemitism in their schoolbooks? What has he done to ensure that those schoolbooks, both those used in PA schools and those used in UNRWA schools, are stripped of their antisemitic content? How can he deplore antisemitism and continue to support those who disseminate it in schools? When he went to meet Abbas in Bethlehem, he will have passed walls on which posters of dead terrorists are plastered, and streets and squares named after the most murderous of Palestinian terrorists, such as Dalia Mughrabi. Has he heard about the children’s shows on Palestinian television, where sweet-faced tykes make stabbing notions with their tiny knives, and proclaim their readiness to “kill Jews”?
And what about the “Pay-For-Slay” program, by which the PA provides generous subsidies to imprisoned terrorists, or to the families of terrorists who died while committing their attacks? The victims of those terrorists are Jews; the attacks are antisemitic. “Pay-For-Slay” rewards past, and incentivizes future attacks. Joe Biden has the power to deny all financial aid to Mahmoud Abbas and to bring to an end both the antisemitic passages in the PA textbooks and the Pay-For-Slay program. How is it that Biden, who decries and denounces antisemitism with such passion, cannot bring himself to use the power of the purse to prevent the inculcation of antisemitism in Palestinian children, and to end the very program that rewards antisemitic attacks by Palestinian terrorists?
We have a full agenda over the next two days. Because the relationship between Israel and the United States covers every issue that matters to our mutual futures. We’re united in our shared values and our shared vision.
Not bad. He might have spelled out those “shared values” that bind America to Israel, including democracy, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, by way of highlighting the fact that none of these shared values are shared by the people in Gaza or the PA-ruled parts of the West Bank.
I’m looking forward to our time together over the next few days. May Israel and the United States continue to grow and prosper together for the benefit of the entire world. And I mean that, for the benefit [of the] entire world.
“For the benefit of the entire world” is an allusion to Israel’s breathtaking achievements, as the original “Start-Up Nation,” continuously producing major advances in medicine, solar energy, water management, and a dozen other fields, advances that have been of benefit not just to Israelis, but to everyone, including those who, like the Palestinians, plot to pull down the Jewish state.
Thank you and God bless you all.
I’ve taken issue here and there with some of his remarks, but all in all, Biden’s speech at the airport was not a bad performance. It has certainly enraged the Palestinians. Biden clearly doesn’t grasp, or care, quite how evil – how antisemitic – is the PA, and its Holocaust-denying ruler, Mahmoud Abbas. He’s even boasted of the half-billion dollars he has lavished upon them. He needs to use the one instrument he has to change their behavior, if not their beliefs: money.