Vice President Joe Biden is a True Friend

Many supporters of Israel approach this election worried that the Democratic party is moving in an anti-Israel direction.

While there are some loud voices trying to lead in that direction, they are few and mostly keep losing.

Joe Biden defeated the anti-Israel forces in his party to win its nomination—and then Biden refused to give in to those who wanted a less pro-Israel party platform, insisting instead that the document reflect his longstanding commitment to the Jewish state.

Let’s leave aside that President Donald Trump has probably never felt a single moral conviction in his kishkes his entire life. And that Vice President Joe Biden has made crystal clear “my support for Israel begins in my stomach, goes to my heart, and ends up in my head.”

Instead, consider the testimonies of Jewish and Israeli leaders who know Biden well.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has called Biden “a dear friend of Israel and the Jewish people” and rejoiced because “I know that Israel is close to your heart.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has called Joe Biden “part of our mishpucha” and “a real friend to Israel and the Jewish people” because of his “steadfast support for Israel over so many decades.” That he and Joe Biden will “always be buddies” even if “we don’t always agree,” because “we have an enduring bond that represents the enduring bond between our peoples.”

Donald Trump doesn’t tell the truth about a lot of things, including Joe Biden’s unshakeable support for Israel.

As far back as the 1970s and ’80s, Biden defied presidents of both parties to vote against selling advanced jets to Saudi Arabia that he concluded would undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge. He helped convince President Obama to issue his only veto ever at the U.N. Security Council to defeat an anti-Israel resolution in 2011, and Biden led the charge in December 2016 urging Obama to issue another such veto in support of Israel. Biden may have lost that particular effort, yet the far-left still hasn’t forgiven him for taking the pro-Israel stand.

Even during last year’s political primary, when J Street and others were encouraging Democrats to support the idea of putting further conditions on the record level of US security aid to Israel—that Biden helped negotiate—he stood firm and came out swinging, blasting the idea as “absolutely outrageous.”

That 2016 accord is America’s single largest commitment of military aid in its entire history. And who flew to Israel to jumpstart the talks on that accord? Vice President Joe Biden. And in 2014 when Israel was under a sustained barrage of Hamas rockets, it was Joe Biden who pushed an emergency resupply through Congress for Israel’s cutting-edge Iron Dome defenses.

Joe Biden knows that “the cornerstone” of U.S.-Israel relations must always be “our absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security.”

Biden consistently stands up against extremists on both the right and the left, which is why ADL’s former National Director Abraham Foxman is “confident he and Kamala Harris will not back down from confronting Israel’s enemies and detractors, even if they emerge within their own party.” Meanwhile, President Trump winks at white supremacists, calling them “very fine people” and encouraging his fascist Proud Boy supporters to “stand by.”

What does President Trump genuinely believe? It’s honestly hard to know, especially since Trump has previously suggested Israel should be forced to reimburse America for its past military aid, because he thinks “they can pay big league.” And Trump claimed, “If we win, we will have a deal with Iran within four weeks.” What do you imagine that quickie agreement will look like?

And it was Donald Trump who reneged on America’s alliance with the Kurds because the authoritarian President of Turkey told him to.

This election presents a clear choice between unpredictable, erratic and unpresidential behavior and a strong, steady pro-Israel hand; between someone who believes in American democracy and the civil rights it affords all of us and someone who applauds white supremacists and defends their racist acts of violence; between failure in dealing with the critical issues of our time and the likelihood of real success.

The choice is ours. Make it well.

About the Author
Mark Mellman, one of the nation’s leading political strategists, is past President of the American Association of Political Consultants and CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm whose clients include leading political figures, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the nation’s most important public interest groups. Mellman has helped guide the campaigns of thirty U.S. Senators, a dozen Governors, over three dozen Members of Congress, and numerous state and local officials. Internationally, Mellman was chief strategist and pollster for Yair Lapid’s stunning rise from zero seats in the Israeli parliament to the country’s second largest party, in just one year.
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