Friday, March 31, 2023

By Daled Amos

Among the casualties of the demonstrations in Israel opposing the judicial reforms is the relationship between Israel and the US, between Netanyahu and Biden.

But just how much of the current tension is recent?

Politico already reported back in December that the Biden administration was looking for a fight with Netanyahu:

The Biden administration will hold the presumptive Israeli prime minister personally responsible for the actions of his more extreme cabinet members, especially if they lead to policies that endanger a future Palestinian state, two U.S. officials familiar with the issue told POLITICO.

What was overlooked then, and overlooked (or ignored) now during the protests, is that Netanyahu had the backing of a majority of Israelis. Is the White House was just looking for an excuse to destabilize the Israeli government?

Is it surprising that Biden went out of his way to announce that there were no plans to invite Netanyahu to the US in the near future? Netanyahu had already agreed to suspend the push for the reforms for the time being, yet on Tuesday, Biden was still discussing the issue in public and saying that Bibi should drop the reforms altogether.

Biden has allowed tensions between the US and Israel to reach the point that a NASA astrophysicist scheduled to be a keynote speaker at a conference in Israel was forced to cancel.

The Israeli business daily, Globes, has an article suggesting that the increased criticism from the US is only natural and Israel has to accept it:

Of course, Israel is sovereign; but Israel also has to be realistic. For decades, it has demanded special treatment as "the only democracy in the Middle East". As a democracy, it necessarily exposes itself to criticism from other democracies. [emphasis added]

Maybe --  as long as the criticism comes from a genuine concern for democracy and not from a political agenda.

The Wall Street Journal suspects the latter and is unimpressed by Biden's swipe at Netanyahu by publicly not inviting him to the White House -- instead of giving him credit for reaching out to the opposition and looking for compromise. Biden's "concern" for Israel is less an issue of preserving democracy and more one of "Woe betide the ally who runs afoul of American progressive opinion."

The Journal notes that Biden cannot even project a consistent message on what he claims to expect from Israel and Netanyahu. On Monday, Biden said

Hopefully the Prime Minister will act in a way that he is going to try to work out some genuine compromise. But that remains to be seen.

But on Tuesday, Biden said about Netanyahu:

“I hope he walks away from it.”

Are Biden's comments coming from a place of genuine concern, or a political agenda, fueled by left-wing Democrats who would like to see Netanyahu fail and Israel become more compliant?

The Jewish Press notices a certain inconsistency in the US concern for democracy when it comes to Israel:

Funny observation: President Joe Biden, whose Attorney General leads the effort to prosecute the January 6 mob, today supports the efforts of Barak’s anarchists to storm Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home on Gaza Street in Jerusalem, bring the government down to its knees by paralyzing the country with mass demonstrations and strikes, and force the Knesset majority to abandon its legislation.

Foreign policy analyst Mitchell Bard points out another inconsistency in Biden's claim of concern for democracy:

Contrast the vitriolic administration critique of the mechanisms of Israeli democracy with its total silence on the undemocratic behavior of the president of France. Just as tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated in opposition to the government’s position on judicial reform, even larger numbers of French citizens have been protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s unilateral decision to raise the retirement age. The State Department has not called on Macron to compromise with the protesters or questioned French democracy
Macron accomplished his end-around by using an executive order, which causes Bard to note:
And who else has resorted to executive orders because he cannot get support from the democratically elected representatives of the country?

Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Biden has taken every opportunity to remind us that he is a strong friend of Israel. But considering Biden's long history of gaffes -- and outright fabrications -- Jews should be judging Biden by his actions, not by his words.

And those actions are not reassuring.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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