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Alexandria Fanjoy Silver

For the future of Israel, Biden must win

With Trump and the Squad turning Israel into a partisan issue, the only way to continue US bipartisan support of the Jewish state is reelecting Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not in photo) in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/ Flash90)
US President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not in photo) in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/ Flash90)

This is not a love letter to Joseph Biden. Far from it. And while I could make many arguments about why his opponent — with his stated isolationist policy and plans to pull the US out of all foreign wars — is likely a greater danger, Biden must win because of what his loss would mean for bipartisan support of Israel in the United States. Even though elections are almost always decided on domestic matters — taxes, social issues, etc. — if Biden were to lose, there would be a strong perception that it was his support for Israel during this trying year that caused it. And although that will hardly be why he wins or loses, as we all know, perception sometimes means more than facts these days. 

Biden represents an era of politics that is coming under threat — that of the centrist and moderate. When Jamaal Bowman lost his election this week, I sighed in relief, and then started this op-ed. I’m a proud card-carrying member of team #stopthesquad but to truly stop them, their brand of politics cannot be allowed to become wider policy of the Democratic Party.

And if Biden were to lose, from pundits to Squad members themselves, who are already blaming Jamaal’s loss on the not at all antisemitic “money and power,” the perception of Biden’s “iron-clad” support of Israel will give the Squad and their ideological ilk far more power in demonstrating that they, and what they represent, are the future of the Democratic Party. And honestly, there are few things that are scarier for many people, Jews included, then that. Remember, Rashida Tlaib said that the call “from the River to the Sea” was aspirational; that Ilhan Omar said that Jews should be protected whether they are “pro” or “anti” genocide; that AOC called the leadership of the Columbia University protest — who online ranted about wanting to “kill Zionists” — “impressive.” 

So Biden must win for the future of continued bipartisan support. His opponent has long made support of Israel partisan, which is deeply dangerous; for Jews to be used to foment cultural wars in the United States means we are in a position of greater danger than we might realize, even at home. And the security and safety of the State of Israel depends on both parties seeing Israel as an ally worth protecting. And if the Democrats lose, and it is misunderstood that that loss is down to support for Israel, AOC, who visibly cried when Iron Dome (a defensive weapon) was defunded, may be given a far greater platform to determine party policy. God forbid. 

Whatever my issues with Joe Biden are, for the future of Israel, helping Israel fight an existential war cannot be seen as a losing strategy for the Democratic Party. Because that represents an existential threat of its own kind. 

About the Author
Dr. Alexandria Fanjoy Silver has a B.A. from Queen's University, an MA/ MA from Brandeis and a PhD from the University of Toronto (all in history and education). She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children, and works as a Jewish history teacher. She writes about Jewish food history on Substack @bitesizedhistory and talks about Israeli history on Insta @afanjoysilver.
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