by Martin J. Raffel
Since there are shifts between Democratic and Republican administrations and congresses, it is critical to preserve bipartisan U.S. support for Israel. Trump constantly flouts this principle by demonizing the entire Democratic Party as “anti-Israel” and “even antisemitic.” Biden, a political leader capable of working productively across the aisle, has always demonstrated in both word and deed his full commitment to bipartisan support.
In his forty years as U.S. senator and eight years as vice president, Biden has shown unshakeable dedication to Israel’s security and its Qualitative Military Edge (QME). He was instrumental is shaping the unprecedented $38 billion, ten-year memorandum of understanding for defense assistance to Israel signed in 2016. And he was a key advocate for the Iron Dome, David Sling, and Arrow 3 missile defense systems developed during the Obama-Biden administration.
Israel must be able to rely on American support. Without even consulting his military and intelligence advisors, Trump, whose foreign policy decisions appear based primarily on personal motivations, abandoned our Kurdish allies by ordering U.S. troops out of the Syrian-Turkey border. This impulsive step resulted in brutal Turkish attacks against Kurdish civilians. Biden’s support for Israel is rock solid and based on his recognition of the vital role Israel plays in U.S. security interests.
Biden recognizes the threat posed by Iran, not just to Israel but to our other allies in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. He has stated unequivocally that Iran should never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Against the strong objections of our closest allies, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA (nuclear deal), and, now, Iran is much closer to achieving nuclear weapons capability than when Trump took office. Biden would return to the deal, but only if Iran comes back into full compliance. Then he would work in partnership with our allies to strengthen and expand the deal to include, among other things, restraints on Iranian missile development and its support for terrorism.
The growing desire by Persian Gulf and other Arab states to normalize relations with Israel as they face a common adversary, Iran, is a welcome development. Instead of severing ties with the Palestinians, Biden would seek to take advantage of the more conducive regional atmosphere to work with both Israel and the Palestinians to lay the groundwork for a future negotiated peace agreement based on two states for two peoples.
Biden has a profound belief in Israel’s legitimacy as the democratic, nation state of the Jewish people. He adamantly opposes all efforts to undermine that legitimacy, including those promulgated by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.