17.02.2024 Author: Viktor Mikhin

What are the facts and reasons for Biden’s unconditional support for Israel

Joe Biden's emotional embrace with Benjamin Netanyahu

Joe Biden’s emotional embrace with Benjamin Netanyahu on 18 October on the tarmac of Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was seen around the world and is still being commented on by the world media. The embrace, which took place 11 days after the shameful failure of Israel and its “famous” Mossad intelligence agency on October 7 in the south, gave the Israelis carte blanche to do whatever they wanted against not only the militant organisation Hamas, but also against peaceful Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

On that trip, Biden demonstrated his “ironclad” commitment to Israel, despite the crimes the Israeli army was committing in Gaza, cutting off access to food, water, medicine and other necessities for a population of 2.3 million and destroying homes, hospitals, universities, schools, churches, mosques, etc. And yet, the “Democrat-in-Chief” told Netanyahu, “I come to Israel with a single message: you are not alone. You are not alone.”

The unequivocal support for Israel, which has the most extremist government in power since its creation in 1948, has especially intensified since Biden and his pro-Israel administration took office. Not only has the U.S. begun supplying arms to Israel, but it has also gone against the will of the world at the United Nations, which has demanded an immediate ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the besieged territory. On 3 November, the US House of Representatives also passed a Republican-drafted plan to provide $14.5 billion in military aid to Israel. The Pentagon also sent two aircraft carriers to the region as a sign of support for Israel.

Biden’s strong support for the right-wing party in Israel has even embarrassed some figures in his administration. On 19 October, Josh Paul, director of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, said he was resigning because of the White House’s “intellectually bankrupt” decision to increase military aid to Israel. He said the Biden administration is “repeating the same mistakes Washington has made for decades”.

Paul also said the administration’s “blind support for one side” led to policy decisions that were “shortsighted, destructive, unfair and contrary to the very values we publicly espouse”. In an interview with the New York Times, Paul also said that continuing to give Israel “carte blanche to destroy a ‘generation of enemies’ only to create a new one is ultimately not in the interest of the United States.”

 It has come to the point where Biden openly states that he is a Zionist and is proud of it, “I don’t believe you have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist,” Reuters quoted Biden as telling an Israeli military cabinet. Politicians and generals gathered in a hotel ballroom in Tel Aviv nodded approvingly, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the remarks behind closed doors.

This explains the unconditional US support for the Israeli state, its huge funding and the dispatch of the most modern weapons, which are now actively used by the IDF to destroy Palestinian civilians, the constant shelling of Lebanon’s borders, and the unpunished bombing of Syrian territory. Such remarks are made at a time when Israel’s 75-year history is associated with the theft of Palestinian land, the displacement of indigenous Palestinians, the destruction of their homes, the creation of hundreds of thousands of refugees inside and outside Palestine, the building of homes on stolen land, the killing of children, the destruction of olive trees, the burning of agricultural land, the imprisonment of those who oppose the occupation, etc.

In his 26 October speech, Biden said: “I will say it 5,000 times in my career: The United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel is based on our principles, our ideas, our values.” The values of Israel stand for making a mockery of international law and qualify any criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism. Of course, it’s no secret that the United States doesn’t care about international law when it comes to Israel’s crimes and illegal actions, and whenever it seems that its commitment to international law doesn’t match its desires, just like what it did regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

Biden’s alliance with Israel has dealt a serious blow to the image of the United States. People around the world now view the Biden administration as complicit in the crimes Israel is committing in Gaza. Israel has dropped more than 22,000 U.S.-supplied bombs on Gaza in the month and a half of the war alone, according to intelligence data provided to Congress and revealed by The Washington Post.

It is quite obvious that Biden considers himself indebted to the Zionist lobby. During his 36 years in the Senate, Biden was the largest recipient of donations from pro-Israel groups in the chamber’s history, receiving $4.2 million, according to the Open Secrets database, Reuters reported on 21 October.

In a speech to the Senate on 5 June 1986, Biden defended annual military aid to Israel, saying: “This is the best three-billion-dollar investment we are making. If there were no Israel, the United States of America would have to invent Israel to ‘protect its interests in the region.'”

A 4 November 2023 report on the US news site Axios states: “While the timing of the new security package remains unclear, the U.S. is by far the largest provider of military aid to Israel, having provided some $130 billion since its founding.”

In addition, as vice president, Biden often mediated the testy relationship between Barack Obama and Netanyahu. Dennis Ross, a Middle East adviser during President Obama’s first term, recalled that Biden intervened to prevent Netanyahu from retaliating against him for a diplomatic outburst during a 2010 visit. According to Ross, Obama wanted to respond harshly to Israel’s announcement of a major expansion of housing for Jews in East Jerusalem. “Whenever the situation in Israel got out of control, Biden was the liaison,” Ross said. “His commitment to Israel was so strong …  And that’s the instinct we’re seeing now.”

During a visit to the United States in July 2023, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog gave a speech to Congress. He called the bond between Israel and the United States “sacred” and said that calling Israel a racist state is anti-Semitism. Describing the alliance between Israel and the US as sacred is ideological and extremely dangerous. Such a term resembles the language used by ideologically motivated terrorist groups who hold their vicious ideas sacred and others as enemies to be purged. Describing ties between Israel and the US as sacred inherently conveys the idea that any Israeli action is right. For example, Israel believes it has an inalienable right to steal Palestinian land, demolish their homes in the West Bank, ethnically cleanse the population in Gaza, and starve all Palestinians to death without facing any consequences because the US as the most powerful country in the world will protect you. It’s as if loyalty to Israel is carved in stone to the point that if any official dares to criticise Israel, they are forced to back down from their position.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressives Caucus, who called Israel a “racist state,” came under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans. They called the comments anti-Semitic, forcing her to retract her remarks. The House of Representatives then overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring that Israel “is not a racist or apartheid state” by a vote of 412 to 9. Aida Touma-Suleiman, a member of the Israeli Knesset, was also suspended after criticising the bombing in Gaza.

Democrats and Republicans are competing to win Zionist support in Israel and the US, regardless of American public opinion. Harsh criticism of senior American officials is tolerated in the US, but it is unacceptable when it comes to Israel. Furthermore, the decades-old repeated statements by Democrats and Republicans that they support a two-state solution in which Palestinians and Israelis live together peacefully are not genuine.

The West’s blind and unconditional support for Israel that its crimes in Gaza are unbelievable, astonishing and shocking, has also infuriated some officials on both sides of the Atlantic. More than 800 officials in the United States, Britain and the European Union published an open letter of dissent against their governments’ support for Israel on Friday. “The current policies of our governments weaken their moral character and undermine their ability to stand up for freedom, justice and human rights around the world,” the letter reads. It adds: “There is a real risk that our governments’ policies are contributing to serious violations of international humanitarian law, war crimes and even ethnic cleansing or genocide.”

Amid such crimes and protests against Israel’s behaviour in Gaza, it seems that Biden, who boasts of a 50-year political career, has lost touch with reality to the extent that his support for war criminals in Israel has brought shame to him and a bad reputation to the United States.  Biden turned a blind eye to mass rallies around the world, especially in Western cities, against Israeli crimes in Gaza. No doubt, he has seen protesters carrying placards calling him “Genocide Joe.” Biden should also have read a book written by his colleague, Democratic President Jimmy Carter, entitled Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

A month after Russia launched a special military operation against the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine, the US government was quick to accuse Russia of committing aggression.  However, when South Africa submitted an 84-page document to the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of actions in Gaza that are “genocidal in nature because they are intended to destroy a significant portion of the Palestinian national, racial and ethnic group,” the Biden administration dismissed the accusation as “baseless.”  This is despite the fact that Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine is in no way comparable to what Israel is doing in Gaza.

In a 3 December article, The Washington Post stated: “The United States is making it clear that it will not stand up for international rules and norms if one of its closest allies violates them.”

And that is true. Nevertheless, it will take the United States many years, perhaps even decades, to regain the reputation it lost because of the ironclad commitment and ill-considered policies of Biden and his administration officials towards Israel.


Victor MIKHIN, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, especially for online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

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