Joe Biden and Jews with Trembling Knees

Who remembers when Joe Biden yelled at -- and threatened -- Prime Minister Menachem Begin?

Before the Democratic Party’s lurch to the Left and his selection by Barack Obama, Joe Biden saw himself as a quasi-Dixiecrat. In his first try for the Democratic Presidential he bragged that he had received an award from George Wallace and boasted that “Delawareans were on the side of the South in the Civil War.”

In 1982, as he was probably beginning to plan that campaign, Biden thought he could appeal to the perceived nativism of the Dixiecrats by publicly threatening to cut off aid to the Jewish state. In July of that year, he used an appearance of Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin before the Senate Finance Committee to threaten to cut off aid to Israel. After enduring Biden’s fist-pounding tirade, Begin responded with the eloquence that was his trademark. Looking directly at Biden, he said

“Don’t threaten us with cutting off aid to Israel. 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 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.”

The always proper and dignified Begin then lectured Biden on his manners. Looking directly at him he said, “This desk is designed for writing, not for fists.” Biden’s behavior was so out of line that immediately after Senator Moynihan approached the Jewish Prime Minister and praised him for his cutting reply.

Unfortunately, much of the American Jewish Community is composed of Jews with trembling knees. Although Donald Trump has been the most pro-Israel President in history and will receive a record Jewish vote, he may receive fewer Jewish votes than Joe Biden, despite the latter’s checkered record on Israel and his support for reinstating Obama’s deal with Iran.

It has now been established beyond any reasonable doubt that the Ayatollah’s nuclear program has no peaceful purpose and is designed to fulfill Iran's stated goal of destroying the Jewish state. And there is no doubt that a Democratic victory will encourage the most belligerent elements in the Arab world to step up their terrorism and viciously target Jews for murder. Yet Democratic operatives who are afraid of their political futures and Jewish Wall Street financiers afraid of missing out on deals are working overtime to defame Trump.

There is no longer any credible dispute that the leadership of the American Jewish community behaved abysmally during World War II. The record is now clear that Stephen Wise, the President of the American Jewish Congress, who proclaimed himself the leader of the then-smaller and less influential community, was more concerned about his personal relationship with Roosevelt, who used to refer to him as “the Chief,” than the millions of Jews who were dying at the hands of the Nazis. He not only hid what he knew was happening in the concentration camps, but also attacked and tried to deport Jews who were trying to expose the truth, and get the Roosevelt administration to making saving Jewish lives a priority, instead of allowing the State Department to discriminate against Jews in their administration of the immigration laws.

Equally reprehensible and consistent with the attitude of much of liberal Jewish community was the behavior of Sam Rosenman, a senior aide to Roosevelt. It was Rosenman who advised Roosevelt not to meet with the 400 Orthodox Jewish rabbis, who came to Washington in 1943, three days before Yom Kippur, to plead for action to save what was left of their European brethren. Rosenman told Roosevelt that the rabbis were not representative of American Jewry and that he had tried to stop the “horde from storming Washington.” Rosenman knew of, and hid, Roosevelt’s anti-Semitism. He confided to Nachum Goldman, the then-head of the World Jewish Congress that Roosevelt reacted to an ad in the Washington Post charging that the Allies were doing nothing to stop the slaughter of Jews “with language that would have pleased Hitler himself.”

While the actions of Wise and Rosenman were cowardly and despicable, they pale in comparison to today’s Democrats. Roosevelt was indifferent to the plight of European Jewry. However, he fought Hitler and did not fund him. Barack Obama gave the Ayatollahs of Iran, who are dedicated to annihilating the 6.8 million Jews who live in Israel, one hundred and fifty billion dollars. The transfer of these funds was carried out by then-Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. The Jewish Jack Lew, whom I once considered a friend, and who signed my ketubah and served as a witness at my wedding, not only disbursed the money from a Treasury Department account, but had $1.8 billion given in untraceable cash.

Inevitably, the money transferred to Iran funded their terrorist activities in the Middle East and elsewhere. Following the receipt of the money Iran stepped up its activities in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. It also funded Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, which fired, and continues to fire, rockets into Israel. Is there any doubt that American money sent to Iran, which was facilitated by a Jewish U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, paid for the murder and maiming of Jews hit by Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets? Stephen Wise may have acted cowardly, but he never did anything to enable the murder of Jews. Jack Lew could have resigned in protest, but then he would not be a partner in hedge fund with other Obama supporters.

Almost as pernicious is the work of Mark Mellman, the Jewish Democrat who has formed “Democratic Majority for Israel,” a group that raises money for Democratic candidates whom it claims are supportive of Israel. However, a visit to the group's web page reveals Mellman’s true purpose. If you click on the group’s website, its purpose becomes clear. There is no argument for the importance of Israel or its many positive attributes. There is no criticism of Palestinian intransigence or terrorism. It merely states that the group is for Israel and has a few perfunctory words about the Jewish state.

However, if you click on the site's “who we are” section you will see a big picture of Mark Mellman, the candidates he has worked for, and testimonials to his success as a political consultant. Included among his clients are some favorites of the anti-Israel J Street organization. One standout on the list is Brian Schatz, the Senator from Hawaii. Schatz's position on Israel can be discerned from his vocal support of the Iranian deal, his boycott of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Congressional address, and his vigorous opposition to the appointment of David Friedman to the position of Ambassador to Israel. Schatz was one of the leaders on the Senate floor fight against Friedman whom he accused of not being “objective” about whether Islamic terrorists want to destroy Israel. Mark Mellman has made millions working for Democratic candidates and the “Democratic Majority for Israel,” is nothing but a vehicle to make sure that he can continue to keep up his plush Georgetown lifestyle.

Mark Mellman and Jack Lew are hoping that if they support Biden and go along with some criticism of Israel they can still flourish in Democrat political and financial circles. But they may soon realize that is not assured in today’s woke Democratic party.

If they want to see their future, they should look at what has happened to Elliot Engel, the about-to-be former member of Congress. Engel was a loyal Democrat Congressman from the Bronx and parts of Westchester County. Although he fundraised aggressively among pro-Israel Jews, he trimmed his sails when he was being challenged in the primary by a Bernie Sanders “Socialist.” Although he was Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs, he did not go to the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem. He used his Chairmanship to actively and vociferously support the impeachment of Donald Trump. He even spoke at a rally protesting police “brutality.” Despite all his kowtowing to the extreme Left, he was defeated in a Democratic primary.

Bernie Sanders leftists will not be appeased. Sanders may claim that he is a democratic socialist, but he was an admirer of the Soviet Union and still supports communist countries such as Cuba. He was so blinded by his hatred of the United States that he honeymooned in the Soviet Union in 1988. He came back from the USSR singing its praises the year before it collapsed. If you research his organization, Democratic Socialists of America, you will find vicious, hate-filled attacks on the United States and individuals proclaiming themselves to be Communists. They are totalitarians who seek total power the way Lenin did. They see Biden as a vehicle to gaining that power -- the way Hitler saw being part of Hindenburg’s government as a way to total power.

There is no room for Israel or any people who identify as Jews in the totalitarian world that Sanders and his followers crave to impose.

Stephen Silbiger was the chief legislative aide to Congressman Stephen J. Solarz of Brooklyn. He also was the lobbyist for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and was the Washington Representative for the American Jewish Congress. He currently is practicing law in Washington, D.C. More importantly, he is the son of Holocaust survivors and was born in a refugee camp.
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