The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized Vice-President Joseph Biden’s attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government in a speech he delivered to the the extremist anti-Israel J Street group.
Biden violated his own “Biden Doctrine” pledge, and warning he announced at the 2001 ZOA Brandeis Dinner in Philadelphia in November 2001. Biden then, chastised the Bush Administration for publicly criticizing Israel, which endangered Israel by emboldening its enemies dedicated to its destruction. Biden (D-Delaware) stated, “Why is it that the one ally [Israel] we have in that part of the world, that we have the right to publicly chastise them? We would not do that with any other friend… As much as the Middle East is always on our minds, the best thing we can do is keep it off the US and world press. Such criticism emboldens those in the Middle East and around the world who still harbor as their sacred goal, the elimination of Israel… It is not for you [The Bush Administration] to tell them [Israel], nor for me, what is in their best interests. We should give them the right to determine what chances they will take.” (Melissa Radler, “Biden says Israel, US should not argue publicly,” Jerusalem Post, November 6, 2001).
The ZOA is urging an explanation from VP Biden as to why he so visibly violated his important pledge – moreover, in a speech to a Soros-funded group hostile to Israel. Why shouldn’t Biden’s Doctrine apply to himself and Obama as well the Bush administration he chastised?
In his speech, Vice-President Biden said that “I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years –– the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures –– they’re moving us, and, more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction.”
The Vice-President Biden ignored the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s anti-peace acts. He also indulged in political partisanship when he expressed the hope that the Israeli opposition would return to power, in Jerusalem. If an Israeli Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister were to say this publicly in respect to the U.S. political scene, that person would be roundly condemned for doing so.
This has led Obama supporter and liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz, Emeritus Professor of Law at Harvard, to criticize Mr. Biden, saying, “This was payback from the White House and Joe Biden was just dead wrong … Netanyahu has offered over and over again to sit down without preconditions and negotiate peace. To create moral equivalence between Netanyahu and Abbas is to create a false equivalence.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “How extraordinary that, on the very day Israel is attacked by a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber who was praised bythe Palestinians, Vice President Biden publicly criticizes Israel, and falsely alleges that it has not taken steps toward peace.
“We have seen repeatedly now that President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and now Vice-President Biden keep calling themselves friends of Israel even as they tell falsehoods about Israel and encourage the impression that boycotts, sanctions and divestment are justified by something Israel is doing or not doing.
“In truth, there has been almost no expansion of existing Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria and no new settlements built in the 2% of Judea and Samaria that Jewish neighborhoods comprise. Quite the contrary — Construction within Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria has dropped during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s seven-year tenure to its lowest point since Oslo began, as a report in the left-wing Israeli Haaretz newspaper noted late last year.
“But even if there had been high growth, this would hardly be cause for censure; Jewish residence in Judea/Samaria possesses a fundamental legitimacy and poses no genuine obstacle to peace were Palestinians willing to conclude one — which they are not –– and that is precisely what Vice President Biden and the Obama Administration should be condemning, loudly and repeatedly, but do not.
“Where was Mr. Biden’s acknowledgment that Israel has offered negotiations repeatedly throughout the tenure of the Obama Administration, while Abbas and the PA have refused talks — except for two meetings held in a single week, during the past seven years?
“Where is the acknowledgment that Israel unilaterally imposed a freeze on Jewish construction in Judea/Samaria for 10 months –– rightly described at the time by then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as ‘unprecedented’ –– just to get the PA to attend negotiations? Where is Biden’s acknowledgment that Arafat and Abbas turned down two overly generous offers of Palestinian statehood.
“Instead the Obama Administration fixates on such things as a mere announcement of a urban construction program in a Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem that, in virtually any kind of peace agreement envisaged, would remain part of Israel.
“Moreover, Israel continues to remove unauthorized outposts; others are being adjudicated by Israeli courts. Land is not being seized and taken from Arab owners. It is appalling that Vice President Biden is giving currency to these canards.
“What about noting that the Obama Administration’s own negotiator, Martin Indyk –– no friend of Mr. Netanyahu or the Likud Party –– said of the American effort to restart talks in 2014 he oversaw that ‘Netanyahu moved to the zone of possible agreement. I saw him sweating bullets to find a way to reach an agreement,’ but that Abbas wouldn’t budge?
“And what about calling out the PA’s refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state, its further demand for a Jew-free Palestinian state and its insistence on the nonsensical, so-called ‘right of return’?
“We note that Vice President Biden did call upon the Palestinian Authority to condemn anti-Jewish terrorism, but it would have been even more to the point for him to have said that the Palestinian Authority should stop broadcasting incitement to Jew hatred and murder, such as falsehoods about Israel changing the status quo on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which tinged with vile Muslim supremacist language, helped trigger a wave of violence and an on-going spate of Palestinian terrorist stabbings and car-rammings that have claimed dozens of Israeli lives.
“Better to condemn the PA’s incitement and support for terrorism and refusal to end it, than merely calling upon the PA to condemn the logical end product of its incitement –– the terrorism it praises and its practitioners whom it glorifies.
“Vice President Biden simply ignores the PA’s pro-terror, anti-peace acts while failing to acknowledge Israel’s efforts to make peace, thereby assigning Israel blame for the absence of peace. Whatever else this performance of Biden’s was, it was not the act of a friend and ally.” Shame on Mr. Biden. Shame on the Obama administration.