Jean Pierre Braun

President Biden and the US elections

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By the end of 2024, the political picture of the world as we know it today might drastically change. The reason for this is simple: over this year, major elections will take place in 82 countries throughout the world, including in 16 countries in Africa, 18 in Asia, 30 in Europe (yes, that is virtually all of Europe), 4 in Oceania and 14 throughout the America’s. That is a conservative number, given that, for example, in the USA, 5 different elections will take place, potentially reshaping all aspects of this democracy, at the local, state, and federal levels. We Israelis will closely follow the European Parliament Elections in early June this year: the Green parties’ coalition, which in most European countries is closely linked to the liberal left and is strongly supportive of political Islamism, may be in danger (hopefully!!) of losing its grip on Brussels. Indeed, right wing parties, strong defenders of national identity and advocates of strict immigration control, have taken the lead in polls throughout Europe. It is certainly too early to predict the results of all these elections, but one thing is sure: given the current high level of hostility towards Israel and given the groundswell of antisemitism that is seen every day in most of Europe, it is likely that any change has the potential for being good for Israel and the Jews. Let us hope that on June 6 to 9, the liberal-far-left/ecologist/Islamist coalition will be thoroughly defeated, and the EU’s systemic hostility towards Israel and the Jews (aka antisemitism) will subside.

The US Presidential election is a continuous suite of events taking place throughout 2024 and the first month of 2025. The state-by-state primaries started in January and will formally end in June. However, all suspense is long gone since Donald Trump and Joe Biden have clinched the nominations of their respective parties, and all their major opponents have left the electoral race. The Republican and Democratic party conventions will take place this summer. July 15 to 18 for the Republicans, in Milwaukee. August 19 to 22 for the Democrats, in Chicago. The expected outcome of these boisterous events will be the confirmation of the presidential candidate and his running mate, the vice-presidential candidate (together, they are known as the “ticket”). Barring any unusual development, by the end of the conventions,  Trump and Biden will be confirmed, and we will know definitively the names of the second half of the tickets. This year, more than ever, the political maneuvering to torpedo the other party’s candidate is being played out ferociously in the press, in the courts of law, on social media platforms, and in advertising. While we will not know for sure who the candidates will be for each party until convention time, it is fair to assume that Trump and Biden will face each other on November 5, and one of them will be sworn in on January 20, 2025.

It is impossible today to predict who will be the next president of the USA. While Trump enjoyed a significant lead earlier this year, this advantage has shrunk to being well below the uncertainty threshold of the polls. The cause: the harassment that has been leveled on Donald Trump by the financial agencies and the justice system is paying off: he finds himself in a complicated, damning financial and legal situation laid out publicly for all to see. Does that mean that Biden is a shoo-in for re-election? Well, certainly not. Among the relatively minor reasons why, one is his age and perceived mental and physical condition, one is his current choice of a Vice President (Kamala Harris is widely viewed as an ineffective, incompetent executive. She is dragging him down, if that is even possible). Let us look at the more serious reasons why Biden may end up losing this election. The first reason is the presence of other candidates in addition to Trump and Biden, and some of them have a chance to attract a significant number of votes in November. A dozen or so minor candidates may make noise but not cause significant disruption. Robert F. Kennedy Jr, a well-known environmental lawyer and a member of the well respected and loved Kennedy family, has the potential to attract voters and change the outcome of what could have been a two-way race. To make matters worse for Biden, many observers agree that the votes that will go to Kennedy will come out of Biden’s camp, not so much out of Trump’s. Biden is taking this threat very seriously, and it is likely that the Democrats will launch a smear campaign against Kennedy that will accelerate until November. It will probably get ugly.

The second reason why Biden may end up losing this election is a series of issues, real or perceived, that, in the mind of Biden and his team, may cost him significant electoral support if they are not handled properly.

Domestically, the border crisis fiasco leading to totally uncontrolled immigration into the USA is such an issue, perhaps the most important one. After Kamala Harris failed miserably to control this problem, Biden decided to push the blame onto someone else: he recently issued an executive order on the subject, and he is now positioning himself as the good guy (I did all that I could do, which is of course a lie), and he is placing the blame on the Congress (i.e. they are not doing their job). Whether this will play out as he intends remains to be seen. That is just one example.

Internationally, Biden has two focus areas: one is Ukraine / Russia, the other is Gaza / Israel.

Regarding Ukraine, Biden is actively pursuing ways to control and limit the way Ukraine is waging this war against Russia. I have no particular sympathy for Ukraine, but it is well known that they have been and remain under massive attack by Russia. Russia has recently targeted Ukrainian energy sources, in the cold of winter, causing significant harm to civilian populations. Well guess what, Biden is now forbidding Ukraine to target Russia’s energy sources, factories, and distribution network (source: “The Hill”, 27 March, 2024). The alleged reason: this will cause oil prices to increase, which will make him look bad in this election year. In an unrelated example, the US military has very significantly reduced the range of some of the most advanced rockets they shipped to Ukraine fearing that the US (read: Biden) will be blamed if US rockets reach inside Russia. In other words, dear Ukrainian friends, you have been attacked, we recognize in principle your right to defend yourself, we even give you weapons and ammunitions, but we reserve to right to tell you how and where you can wage your defensive war, and you better listen to us.

To some extent, the case for Ukraine is quite simple: the USA never intended to intervene directly there, nor did it even promise to do so. It is not clear that a significant segment of the US population will base its November vote on what is going on in Ukraine. Unlike President Macron of France who is developing an acute case of feverish paranoia (*), Biden is acting out of far-fetched precautions, yet he is willing to dictate how Ukraine should defend itself.

(*) Macron has threatened Russia that France may send 20,000 French ground soldiers to Ukraine, which obviously Putin did not like. Macron has now raised the alert level in France to its highest possible level, with military and police deployed everywhere, instilling fear, even panic among French residents.….

Israel represents a more complex challenge to Biden with regards to his re-election campaign.

The Muslim population in the USA has grown from 3.45 million people in 2017 to 4.45 million in 2020 to probably more that 6 million today. Being concentrated in the Midwest states and New York, they carry considerable weight on election days, especially since several of these states (MN, MI, WI, etc..) are considered swing states. The vote of the Muslim population as a whole is likely to be affected by the war in Gaza / Israel, as well as by other issues. American Muslim leaders have expressed their displeasure regarding the Democratic support for the LGBT cause. Polls have shown that many Muslims may direct their vote away from Biden if he persists. Well, Biden, the master of appeasement never misses an opportunity to pander to his Muslim population: just last week, as part of some larger finance bill, he signed a provision banning the flying of the LGBT flag in all US embassies worldwide. This is of course aimed at pleasing the Muslim voters. But at the same time, and since he also does not want to lose the gay votes, he made a little publicized, verbal promise to repel the provision he just signed. Appeasement and pandering, any which way you look.

On October 8th, 2023, President Joe Biden was Israel’s true friend. He showed respect, understanding, compassion, and resolve. He understood. His support of Israel was remarkable, unconditional, considerable. And over time, things started to change. Israel stayed on course, with the same stated objectives. Hamas became more vicious as time passed. The Arab propaganda machine started to produce lies, fake news and outrageous, unverifiable high casualty numbers. The Hamas motto “from the river to the sea” became a rallying slogan, rarely understood by those who shouted it throughout the world. The eradication of Israel and of the Jews became a common argument that could be used and repeated in seemingly civilized conversations. Antisemitism became something no-one had to be ashamed of, hatred of the Jews was an openly accepted, reasonable position to advocate. Whether Biden and the rest of the world did not understand the terrible consequences of this new discourse, or whether they deliberately chose to ignore them does not really matter. The facts are simple: Biden and most of the world chose to believe everything that came out of the Arab war propaganda machine, and conversely, they chose to ignore Israel’s arguments, proof, witness accounts, etc. All this happened while Biden, lagging Trump in public opinion, was seeking ways to improve his poll results. Simple enough: put pressure on Israel, and more pressure. Threaten Israel, blackmail Israel: we will cut off your weapon supplies if you do not conduct your war the Biden way. Arabs should not be blamed for anything, Hamas could even be given a new virginity. Bravo Mr. Biden, this is working for you: CNN declared this morning that several of the Great Lakes swing states (the ones with major Muslim populations) have now switched over to the Democrats camp. Appeasement and pandering, any which way you look.

UN resolution 2728 adopted by the Security Council on March 25th was perceived by most Israelis and Jews in the diaspora as a betrayal. How did the USA not veto a resolution imposing a cease fire on Israel without any condition, without any blame on Hamas, without linking it to the release of the hostages? Of course, there is some wording in the text asking Hamas to be kind enough to release some hostages, but without any pressure or threat should they not comply. The US did not veto this one-sided resolution, they abstained. Hamas, Iran, the palestinians, and many others rejoiced at what they saw as a sharp defeat for Israel. Worst than that, since the world imposes a cease fire on Israel, Hamas does not have to do anything about the hostages, in fact, they quickly announced that they withdrew from any further hostage negotiation. And Israel is being blamed for this setback. This is either the result of an appalling naivety or the result of a machiavellian calculation coming from Biden and his team. Mr Biden, Mr Blinken, it is time for you to remember Chamberlain and Daladier. Like you they sought to appease the devil by betraying their allies. History is justifiably not being kind to Chamberlain and Daladier. Their miscalculation led to World War 2 and caused tens of millions of deaths. Mr Biden, Mr Blinken, by letting this terrible resolution pass, you not only bowed to the most barbaric terrorist group the world has seen in a very long time, you also emboldened Hezbollah, Daesh, ISIS, and above all Iran, the single worst threat to world peace. Mr Biden, with this loathsome move, you may have won a few more votes from the Muslim community, but at what cost?

As said earlier, Israel’s objectives have not changed. We are waging a just war, with decency, ethics, and, as much as possible, respect for human life. And we must stay the course. We must finish the job. We must free all the hostages, not just 40 of them. And while we are inundated with hate messages and criticism, we must repair our relationship with the United States. In my humble opinion, this can only be done away from the public eye, in a completely confidential manner, with no press leaks and no uncontrolled and unnecessary declarations. Time is of the essence; this has got to start very soon for it will take time. I trust Prime Minister Netanyahu has the skills, the motivation and the strength to conduct such repair work, and to bring back Biden and the United States in total alignment with Israel, our beloved country, the only democracy in an ocean of dictatorial regimes, and the USA’s only reliable ally in the entire middle East.

May Hashem help us all, help Israel and help the Jews of the diaspora.

About the Author
Jean Pierre Braun is a retired Silicon Valley CEO now living in Jerusalem. Born in Paris, Jean Pierre immigrated to the USA after completing its Electrical Engineering degree in France. Besides being a serial entrepreneur, Jean Pierre was also the founder of a unique, very successful Silicon Valley Synagogue, and upon his return to France became Vice President of a local CRIF branch, and the President of the Rachi community in Grenoble. A father of 3 and grandfather of 10 ב'ה, Jean Pierre and his wife Annie made Aliyah in 2016.