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Op-Ed: Biden’s Got No Straight Answers on Israel

Wishy-washy platform might work against the presumptive Democrat nominee

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Joe Biden during the 2020 Democratic Party presidential debates

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As we near 150 days until the US election for president, it is probably a foregone conclusion that most Jews will vote Democrat, simply as a matter of course. Historically, Jewish Americans have overwhelmingly voted for the party of FDR and the Kennedys, and there’s no sign that that will change. But with the party’s primaries over, it’s presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, gives less reason than any of its predecessors for voters to be enthusiastic about him. For Jewish voters of all persuasions, he may just be the plain oatmeal they pass up in the cafeteria.

 Though there has been a defection of a portion of Jewish voters over to President Donald Trump, according to Pew Research still 79% of Jews voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections. On domestic policy, most American Jews lean left: 54% define themselves as Liberal/Lean Liberal versus 22% as Conservative/Lean Conservative according to a 2017 AJC survey.

 But if the last three years have revealed anything, it’s that the idea of a consensus within the Jewish community is getting more muddled than ever. One of the best levers with which to pry away Jewish is policy towards the Middle East.

 This month the “Jews 4 Joe” student movement was launched, and given a fawning write-up in the Los Angeles based Jewish Journal. Members quoted within it mentioned three times how the group and Biden would stand up for “progressive values” or “our values,” and mentioned “Zionism” just once.

 However, Biden’s public statements indicate that his Middle East policy would not be pro-Israel, nor would it be pro-Palestinian, for that matter. He would restore the stalled peace process managed by presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. Here are some of the main elements of his record and proposals.

Regarding policy toward Israel

In April, Biden said he would keep the US embassy in Jerusalem, but oppose the annexation of portions of the West Bank.

In 2016 Vice President Biden said that continued West Bank settlement building was eroding the prospect of a two-state solution. “Bibi (Netanyahu) thinks it can be accommodated, and I believe he believes it. I don’t,” he said before AIPAC.

Biden has refused to leverage foreign aid in order to halt settlement building. This is seen as ostensibly a spineless position by the progressive camp within the Democratic Party.

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Regarding policy toward Palestinians

On May 6, during a virtual fundraiser, Biden vowed to restore US foreign aid to the Palestinian authority. This had been cut off by Trump in 2019.

During his last visit to Pres. Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in March 2016, Biden was rebuffed when he attempted to pitch his last ditch peace initiative, mere days before his address to AIPAC. It included a settlement freeze and a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and relinquishing the ‘Right of Return’ of Palestinians to Israel.

Biden at AIPAC

 It is important to note that the American opinion on Netanyahu spiked up when he defied Obama, so could that see a return under Biden? Biden also is not enough for the far-left anti-Zionist Jewish voters. In January, Jewish Voice for Peace picketed Biden’s Iowa headquarters ahead of its caucus. IfNotNow, a similar movement that gained attention for protesting Birthright Israel, claimed to have had seven members arrested while blockading Biden’s South Carolina headquarters in February.

 It is important to note that the Jewish adult population was estimated to make up only 2.2% of the US population in 2013. But according to a study from the University of Haifa shared with the Jerusalem Post in 2016, half of Democratic donation dollars that year came from Jews, and 25% of donations to the Republican National Committee. Whatever connotation one takes out of it, this financial stake is definitely something that both parties know is crucial to winning elections at every level. But for a candidate with a “one size fits none” outdated approach, Biden’s lethargic/nostalgic candidacy stands to bleed both donors and votes on all sides.
Ray McCoy is a freelance writer and investigative researcher from the Midwest. He has been published by The Federalist, American Greatness, National File, and the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. 
 
 
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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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