Any part that Vice President Biden might have played in the JCPOA is of less importance than what President Biden has been doing since he entered the White House in 2021. (From Sderot to Somerton: Israel War Could ‘Trump’ Other Issues in My Backyard boulderjewishnews.org February 1, 2024). Immediately following his inauguration, Pres. Biden set about undoing all of Pres. Trump’s accomplishments. He worked hard on attempting to sign a new nuclear agreement with Iran and removed Trump-imposed sanctions on Iran’s selling oil. This enabled Iran to come back from the brink of bankruptcy and resume funding its proxies (such as Hezbollah and the Houthis). Furthermore, Biden stepped away from Pres. Trump’s attempts to encourage acceptance of a Jewish state in the Middle East via the Abraham Accords and the Deal of the Century. He also reinstituted America’s funding of UNRWA, which Pres. Trump had stopped.
It is true that Pres. Biden has supported Israel’s right to defend her people following the atrocities committed by Hamas and other groups on October 7. Shortly after the attacks, the United States sent warships and warplanes into the region, prepared to give Israel whatever it needed. In addition, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the deployment of the United States Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 12, led by the USS Gerald R. Ford. As the fighting has continued, America has supplied Israel with replacement parts for Iron Dome anti-missile units. Such actions were not well received in certain sections of the American electorate. In Michigan, anger over Biden’s Israel-Hamas war stance could cost him votes: “We’re gonna be silent in November 2024” – CBS News – Google Search
As a result, Pres. Biden has coupled his support of Israel with calls for a reduction in the intensity of the fighting.
However, as Hamas has threatened to inflict repeated October 7’s on Israel’s people, the Israelis argue that only total victory over Hamas will ensure the safety of Israel’s people. Furthermore, the Israelis note that their exemplary attempts to prevent civilian casualties cannot be 100% effective when Hamas has its command centers in hospitals and other public buildings, stores weapons in schools and private homes, and has dug its terror-tunnels in residential areas. Yet, the ratio of civilian deaths to combatant deaths in the current conflict is 2:1, significantly lower than the ratios in recent wars involving countries other than Israel.
Biden’s restoration of funds to UNRWA (which are now frozen, following revelations that UNRWA workers were involved in Hamas’ October 7 attacks), coupled with his recent insistence that a Palestinian state must come into being, show his failure to understand the nature of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s been thirty years since the Oslo Accords were signed and neither the Palestinian Authority nor Hamas has made any effort to build the infrastructure needed by a viable state. Hamas claims an Israeli blockade prevented the development of the economy in Gaza (but, somehow, Hamas built an extensive network of sophisticated tunnels under Gaza and acquired a large arsenal of missiles to be fired at Israeli population centers). The Palestinian Authority asserts that its primary financial obligation is keeping its Martyrs’ Fund solvent; that’s the fund that pays lifelong stipends to murderers (and/or their families) when Palestinians answer the call for violent resistance to the “Occupation” by killing Israelis. Both Hamas and the PA insist that Israel should take in the 6,000,000 “Palestine refugees” listed on UNRWA rolls; Arab countries have refused citizenship to these “refugees” (virtually all of them were born in UNRWA camps and claim descent from fewer than 700,000 Arabs who fled Palestine in the 1940’s as Arab states prepared to go to war trying to prevent the establishment of Jewish state in the Jews’ ancestral homeland). There has been no suggestion that the Palestinians absorb them in the State Biden wants to give them, just as Israel, long ago, absorbed and uplifted 800,000 Mizrachi Jews driven from their homes in the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The majority of Israel’s current Jewish population trace their roots to those Mizrachi communities.
I hope that 2024 will not see a rematch of Biden vs.Trump. However, I do believe a return to Pres. Trump’s policies would be good for Israel and for the US.
Toby F. Block