Almost all polls available right now predict a victory for the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Of course, most organizations are careful not to make any definitive claims, following the experience of the 2016 elections. If Joe Biden does win the presidency, many Israelis will question the direction of his policies impacting the Jewish state. Here are some reasons why Israelis should not be worried about Biden becoming president.
Joe Biden once shared with me that despite being raised Irish-Catholic, his upbringing was very influenced by his many Jewish friends and their families. Growing up among Jewish Americans gave him an understanding of their culture, faith, heritage and the importance of a strong Israel for the Jewish people. I believe he has taken those lessons with him in his political career and will remember them if he gets to the White House.
Biden’s political history shows us that he has always been a tremendous supporter of Israel, going back as far as the ’70s when he fought for crucial aid to Israel in the Senate. During his term as vice president, he helped ensure Israel’s security with his involvement in lifesaving technologies such as the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and Arrow 3 anti-rocket and missile defense systems. Biden was also involved in bringing about the famous $38 billion 10-year military aid package given to Israel. The Democratic candidate is also a vocal opponent of BDS and delegitimization efforts against Israel. his record shows he has got Israel’s back.
While it is true that he was the vice president in an administration that brought forth the Iran deal, to which almost all Israelis objected, I believe Biden’s pragmatism will lead him to understand that the continued pressure on Iran has created significant changes in the Middle East that are deterring Iran from threatening other countries and weakening its strength as a supporter of terrorism. There are positive changes in the Middle East. Muslim countries are signing peace accords with Israel, Iran is pushed to a corner and its proxy, Hezbollah, is weakened as well. Such changes might prompt Biden to think twice before he jumps back into a deal with Iran.
Biden is supported by the overwhelming majority of American Jews. They find him more in tune with their values and dreams for America. It is crucial that Israelis understand their American Jewish cousins better. The American Jewish community is the most important influencer in the relationship between Israel and the United States. Biden’s connection with American Jews will help maintain the strong bond between Israel and America. Lately the United States’ support for Israel was run mostly by the White House, with very little Jewish support for the administration. That support will be evident and important to Biden as he forges his administration’s relationship with Israel.
This time around, it may take longer for the election results to be definitive. However, if Joe Biden does become the next president of the United States, evidence is strong that Israelis should not be concerned and realize they have a friend in the White House.