Preparing for the election of a US Democratic president

Israel cannot and should not interfere directly in the US elections. Yet it would be a great mistake to sit quietly.

WHO WILL lead the Democrats? (photo credit: REUTERS)
WHO WILL lead the Democrats?
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Recent polls give the leading US Democratic presidential candidates a substantial advantage over President Donald Trump in the November 2020 elections. The average of polls in October gave Biden a 10% lead, Sanders an 8% advantage and Warren a 7% lead over Trump.
Despite these odds, Trump may be elected for a second presidential term. Israel has, however, also to prepare for a Democratic president. The main candidates seem far from equivalent as far as Israel’s interests are concerned. Biden is a mainstream Democrat who seems reasonable and is a known quantity. He recently described Sanders’s suggestion of cutting military aid to Israel as outrageous.
A Warren presidency is problematic. A Jewish anti-Israeli staff member, Max Berger, has played an important role in her campaign. He tweeted in 2013: “I would totally be friends with Hamas.” Sen. Warren seems to be an active supporter of the two-state fake “solution” of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. If she is elected, one can only hope that this remains a declaration with no concrete impact. Otherwise, we are returning to the misguided pressures of Barack Obama on Israel, which, without Israel’s strong resistance, could have led to a failed terrorism-permeated Palestinian state next to Israel.
Sanders, however, should be considered outright dangerous to Israel. He states that he is 100% pro-Israel and adds that Israel has every right in the world to exist in peace and security and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. However, several of Sanders’s other statements contradict this.
One of these is that the US must be more evenhanded in how it approaches the Israel-Palestinian conflict. In other words, the US should be more supportive of those who control the two Palestinian entities – Gaza, ruled by the genocide-promoting Hamas party, which gained a majority in the only Palestinian elections, those of 2006; and the West Bank, ruled by the terrorist-rewarding Fatah. In again other words, the US should weaken Israeli democracy by strengthening Palestinian terrorist supporters.
One example of Sanders’s evenhandedness was when he said: “In fact, I think it is fair to say that some of [the money for Israel] should go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza.” Much foreign aid to Gaza has strengthened the military and other capacities of Hamas instead of helping its citizens, whose majority voted for these genocide promoters.
There are other remarks by Sanders that further indicate that Israel cannot trust him. The damage he may cause this country and its relationship with the United States can be both planned and unintentional.
Israel cannot and should not interfere directly in the US elections. Yet it would be a great mistake to sit quietly, refrain from any action and hope for the best. A thorough assessment should be made of where Israel has failed so far concerning the US and what can still be done to improve the situation.
THIS BRINGS us to two important interlinked issues. The first is that the Israeli government has not understood the need to tell American Jewry explicitly and continuously the hard truth about the extreme Palestinian criminality and its refusals of generous Israeli peace offers. J Street and other even more leftist and masochistic Jewish organizations are beyond repair. Yet there remains a large American Jewish audience interested in facts.
Contrary to the Egyptians, Libyans and Tunisians during the Arab Spring and the Egyptians, Lebanese and Iraqis nowadays, the Palestinian people have not taken to the street to protest against their own leaders’ policies.
Prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert both offered the Palestinians generous peace agreements at different times. Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, respectively, have refused these offers. As far as the Olmert proposal was concerned, even Abbas’s close adviser Saeb Erekat recommended that he should accept the offer.
Israel’s second mistake is that its government has neglected the establishment of a body through which it can systematically reach out to the many pro-Israel organizations in the US. That should have been one of the many tasks of Israel’s nonexisting anti-propaganda agency.
There should be no dominance by Israel’s enemies in the questions put to US democratic presidential candidates about the Middle East conflict. There are still enough courageous Jews and other friends of Israel in the US to ask Sanders frequently a first round of pertinent questions.
To mention a few: “You have called the Israeli government racist. How come you haven’t called Abbas a racist who has said that ‘in a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands’?” and “You have spoken about the ‘respect and dignity the Palestinians merit’ while condemning terrorists elsewhere. Can you explain what the dignity is of people who have voted in great majority for genocidal terrorist promoters and glorifiers of terrorist murderers?” Furthermore: “You have posed with people holding a placard that says ‘Jews Against Occupation.’ Are you willing to pose with people holding up a sign that reads ‘Jews against Muslim world leadership of terrorism?’ As is well known, however tragic and terrible, 9/11 was only a small part of Muslim terrorism.”
Once we know how Sanders will try to deflect these and other similar questions, experienced pro-Israel campaigners and well-informed activists will together be able to prepare a second series of tougher questions for Sanders, an arch-hypocrite and false moralist.
The writer is the emeritus chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.


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