Why Biden Is Threatening to Veto Aid to Israel

Why Biden Is Threatening to Veto Aid to Israel
(Taylor Brandon/Unsplash.com)
David Harsanyi
2/9/2024
Updated:
2/12/2024
0:00
Commentary

President Joe Biden promised to veto any stand-alone aid bill for Israel, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and most House Democrats voted against one. The administration maintains that Israel’s security is so “sacred” that it must be tied to a doomed legislative package containing entirely unrelated issues that deal with border security and Ukrainian aid.

Which, of course, makes absolutely zero sense.

Does anyone believe that the president would veto a stand-alone bill for Ukrainian aid? Or what about a stand-alone bill for “humanitarian” aid to Palestinians? Color me skeptical. Now, a stand-alone border security bill? That he would definitely veto. Priorities, you see.

In the years before former President Barack Obama, a vote to help a longtime ally against a proxy terror army that—not incidentally—murdered 30-plus American citizens would have been a no-brainer. Today, a Democrat who takes an unrepentantly pro-Israel position puts himself in a precarious position. President Biden is free to play games with Israeli aid because there will be no political repercussions. Most Democrats don’t really care anymore. And those who do are in the pro-Hamas wing—whether openly or functionally.

“Forget No Labels. Biden’s Third-Party Peril is on the Left,” Politico warned. Numerous polls, Jonathan Martin wrote, find that young leftists are angry about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Not the mass rape and murder of civilians, mind you, but Israel’s efforts to root out the attackers. Many of these people are socialist ideologues, many are identitarian dimwits, and others are just anti-Semites. Some, such as members of “the Squad,” are all of the above. Whatever the case, they are always “angry” at Israel. These are the people who were demanding “ceasefires” before Israel had even begun retaliating for Oct 7, 2023.

Still, the situation remains something of a balancing act for President Biden. There are still enough Jewish Democrats and independents who feel a historic kinship with Israel. Enough that the president doesn’t attack Israel unequivocally. Like President Obama before him, President Biden uses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a strawman, framing the prime minister as some kind of warmongering fascist.

Here’s a little-known reality: Right or left, Mr. Netanyahu or someone else, no Israeli prime minister would act any differently in Gaza. Israeli voters rightly demand it. Just as it would have been impossible to lead the United States after 9/11 on a plank that gave al-Qaeda a pass, it would be impossible to hold power in Israel and allow Hamas to continue to operate next door.

In any event, President Biden acts like a statesman in public but simultaneously leaks angry quotes about Mr. Netanyahu to placate the growing anti-Israel left. Recently, for example, we learned that President Biden supposedly called Israel’s prime minister a “bad [expletive] guy.” (Notice that Democrats have tougher words for Israelis than they ever do for mullahs who murder Americans.)

This leak reminded me of the time in 2014 when President Obama’s stenographer, Jeffrey Goldberg, “reported” that White House officials referred to Mr. Netanyahu as “chicken [expletive].” Now I don’t mean to demean people such as Ben Rhodes, who survived a creative writing MFA program at New York University, but Mr. Netanyahu did serve in the Israel Defense Forces, saw combat, and led a special force unit that specialized in freeing hijacked planes. Mr. Netanyahu was shot in one of these operations. So I’m going to go out on a limb and say he’s less of a coward than anonymous White House officials. Certainly, he is a better “guy” than the gaggle of Rob Malley types the president surrounds himself with.

A few weeks ago, good guy President Biden was accusing Israel of engaging in “indiscriminate bombing,” which he knows is a lie.

“Like everyone in the administration and any Democrat with a pulse,” Politico explained, President Biden is “deeply suspicious of Benjamin Netanyahu.”

The president’s “deep-seated fear,” we learn, is that Mr. Netanyahu “is eager to drag the U.S. into a wider war in the Middle East.”

This is the favorite blood libel of radical Democrats and far-right influencers. They must be quite excited to hear that the president is no longer “hypnotized” by Israel’s evil, as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) might say.

That said, the United States has no obligation to assist any nation—not even a longtime ally that shares our objectives and values. I suspect Democrats are probably a couple of presidential cycles away from turning entirely against Israel. Still, it is peculiar that the same people who are purportedly terrified of being dragged into a Middle East war by Israel have no deep-seated fears about the perils of funding a war against a nuclear power in Europe. On the contrary, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who runs a country far more authoritarian (not to mention corrupt) than Mr. Netanyahu’s Israel, is treated as the sainted defender of democracy by Washington and the media.

It’s almost as if the arguments being used by Democrats to distance themselves from Israel don’t really make any sense.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
David Harsanyi is a conservative journalist, syndicated author, and editor. He wrote for the Denver Post for eight years, and edited for The Federalist for more than six years before becoming senior writer at National Review in 2019. Harsanyi authored five books, including “First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History With the Gun” and “Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent.”
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