Steven Saks

Creating daylight between the U.S and Israel is counterproductive   

An Open Letter to President Biden: 

A strategy of creating daylight between the U.S and Israel is counterproductive and unnecessary.    

The moral clarity you expressed in the aftermath of October 7 is both missed and needed.  A strategy of creating daylight between the U.S and Israel is counterproductive and unnecessary.    

Why is a strategy of creating daylight between the U.S and Israel counterproductive? 

It is counterproductive because daylight between the two democracies buoys Hamas’ hope that it can survive Israel’s counter offensive. Any respite from the Israeli counter offensive only strengthens Hamas- making it less likely that they will agree to a hostage deal, as well as it elevates the terror group in the eyes of the Palestinians. This conflict is not about territory, if so, it would have long since been settled. Rather this conflict is a clash of competing visions. It pits a nation which yearns for peace and has made great sacrifices for the sake of peace against a terror group and their adherents who refuse to accept the Jewish people’s right to self-determination within the borders of their historical homeland. According to Carl von Clausewitz, whom the famed Civil War historian James M. McPherson referred to as, “the most influential theorist on war,” conflicts over territory and boundaries can be ended through compromise. However, when two polar ideologies collide, conflicts can only be ended by one side vanquishing the other. It was for this reason that Lincoln, who was the foremost preacher of reconciliation, nevertheless, understood that before reconciliation could be achieved the Confederacy had to be utterly defeated. Over time Lincoln arrived at the realization that there could be no compromise on the issue of slavery. Therefore, the proponents of slavery had to be beaten and made to feel as such. For this reason, Lincoln allowed Sherman to conduct his brutal march to the sea. That is to say, the unconditional surrender of the rebels was a prerequisite to the reconstruction of the Union.  

McPherson correctly posits that World War Two resulted because the First World War had ended not with Germany’s unconditional surrender but with an armistice agreement. It is for this reason that the allies realized that the defeat of Nazis and the Axis powers had to conclude with the unconditional surrender.  The unconditional surrender of the Axis powers allowed the allies to successfully rebuild Germany and Japan and ensured the future adherents of Nazism would be miniscule in number, weak and reviled.   

In order to achieve a lasting peace, Hamas must be utterly discredited in the eyes of the Palestinians. This can only be done by destroying the terrorist group. In order for Israel’s effort to destroy the Iranian backed terror proxy refuge to succeed, its tunnel network needs to be destroyed. The halting of 2000 bombs to Israel makes it harder for Israel to destroy these tunnels and virtually guarantees additional young Israel soldiers will have to enter these tunnels while being subjected to ambush.  Contrary to conventional wisdom in part fomented by CNN’s December 2023 report, 2000-pound bombs can be used with precision thus limiting collateral damage.  An article in the April issue of Commentary reported that U.S. air force officials have explained that they have used 2,000-pound bombs to destroy parts of buildings without toppling the entire structures or harming nearby American troops. Such feats have been accomplished by adjusting variables such as the angle and velocity of the bomb or fusing an explosive to detonate underground.   

Why is a strategy of creating daylight between the U.S and Israel unnecessary?    

The panic that far leftist ideologies have created that Biden will lose young voters because of his support of Israel was exposed as propaganda by the Harvard Youth Poll conducted by the Institute of Politics in April. The poll ranked the war between Israel and Hamas as 15th on a list of 16 issues people between the ages of 18 and 29 said they cared about. Nobody’s vote is determined by issue 15. Only a mere two percent said Israel/Palestine was the issue that concerned them most.  As John Podhoretz explains in the May issue of Commentary, the numbers show that the administration’s pivot away from Israel actually increases the likelihood the President will lose the key battleground state of Michigan, contrary to popular wisdom. Anti-Israel voters in Michigan will view Biden’s hardening towards Israel as too little, too late. Middle of the road voters, who favor Israel by a substantial margin, will feel betrayed by the President for his failure to help Israel see the war through to its needed conclusion.

The moral clarity you displayed in the aftermath of the October 7 atrocities is sorely needed. 

To your credit President Biden, you have championed the issue of democracy. But of course, democracy depends on respecting the rule of law. By placing a partial embargo on Israel, you are standing in contravention to the 1974 Impoundment Control Act, which requires presidents to spend the money Congress authorizes and appropriates and that the president signs into law. Though other presidents have subverted the law, it doesn’t make it acceptable, nor should it become the norm.  Furthermore, allowing Hamas to survive will only embolden enemies of democracy by sending the message that you can go to war against peace loving democracies and get away with murder. The moral clarity you displayed in the aftermath of the October 7 atrocities is sorely needed. 


Rabbi Steven Saks

Spiritual Leader, Congregation Sons of Israel, Woodmere NY

About the Author
Rabbi of Sons of Israel, Woodmere NY. Vice President of Morasha Rabbinical Fellowship (affiliated with the Union for Traditional Judaism). Served as president of the Rabbinical Association of Delaware.