If Israel were losing its battle with Hamas, would the so-called international community call for a ceasefire? Were there similar calls when, in 1973, Egyptian armor seemed to be holding the upper hand and ready to invade the heartland of Israel?
Israel has not won this battle with Hamas. Rather, in the words of Israelis, it has only mowed the lawn. The grass will grow back, and Hamas will once again do what it always does – launch rockets and missiles into Israel’s population areas. US President Joe Biden’s administration, with its pressure for a premature ceasefire, has all but assured that.
The Biden administration has revealed the president’s long-seething hostility toward Israel going back to the now celebrated encounter between then-senator Joseph Biden and Israel’s then-prime minister, Menachem Begin, in which Biden threatened to cut off aid to Israel, and Begin uttered these famous words: “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.”
As Israelis were crouching in hallways and bomb shelters and Hamas launched death from the skies against them, the Biden administration’s representatives in Vienna were negotiating an overture to the disastrous Iran nuclear deal that was the cornerstone of US Middle East policy under the administration of US president Barack Obama.
Iran is the foremost supplier of arms to Hamas, using various mechanisms to circumvent both the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza. Money freed up to Iran as part of the previous and any future deal will end up in Hamas’s coffers and land with deadly force in Israel.
And while the Biden administration was negotiating with Iran, it was also meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, offering to restore aid that former US president Donald Trump’s administration had cut in response to the PA’s continual incitement to violence against Jews.
The Biden administration seems to have taken a leaf from the presidency of George H. W. Bush and turned it upside down: F*** the Jews; they will vote for us no matter what we do.
Indeed, Democratic progressives – always quick to renounce racial, ethnic, and religious hate crimes – have been conspicuously silent about the attacks on innocent Jews in midtown-New York and Los Angeles, where Jews are being attacked for being Jewish.The “Squad” – never missing a moment to come out against hate crimes, real and imaginary – passed on this moment.
Moreover, House Democrats voted down an emergency measure to replenish Israel’s defensive system against Hamas rockets. The result will make Israel more vulnerable to Hamas’s inevitable foray into attacking Israel and mean that Israel will be compelled to increase its bombardment on Hamas in the next exchange. The next war will be more violent, with greater casualties on both sides. The Democrats have assured that.
Democrats are shortsighted, only wishing to assuage their growing progressive constituencies by creating a tectonic rupture in what traditionally has been bipartisan support for Israel’s defense.
In the meantime, progressive Jews should take note that when pro-Palestinian thugs entered restaurants to call out Jews for assault, they did not ask who a religious Jew or who is a conservative Jew. They simply asked, in the vein of 1930s Germany, “Who is a Jew?”
Progressive Jews should realize: your embrace of progressive causes will not help you. Your lack of support for Israel will not help you. At the end of the day, you are still a Jew. That is all that matters. And most likely the Biden administration is correct that you will be incapable of renouncing your allegiance to the Democratic Party no matter what they do to you.
The writer is an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter: @salomoncenter.