Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
It is deeply concerning and perplexing that Israeli President Isaac Herzog tweeted on July 7 that Herzog will award President Joe Biden the Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor “to thank [Biden] for being a true friend of Israel” and for “decades-long support for Israel’s security, deepening our alliance & fighting antisemitism” and anti-Israel bias. This award makes little sense. A “true friend of Israel” and fighter against antisemitism, would not pursue numerous policies undermining Israel’s sovereignty and security that President Biden and his administration are pursuing and would not just ignore, but actually praise antisemites in Congress, and issue a new erroneous anti-Israel report that an Israeli bullet killed an Arab journalist.
Nor would “a true friend of Israel” take advantage of Israel’s caretaker government to make visits to symbolic Palestinian Authority institutions in eastern Jerusalem. Former Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon noted that these Biden visits are unprecedented and were “created to pave the way for the U.S. administration to challenge Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem.”
Ideally, caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Israeli Pres. Herzog should insist that Biden needs to change his anti-Israel policies and combat all forms of antisemitism in the U.S., prior to honoring Pres. Biden with Israel’s medal of honor. At the very least, Lapid and Herzog should insist on President Biden making the policy changes needed to earn this award, promptly after the award is granted.
Unfortunately, instead of meeting Biden with needed strength, Lapid has already made dangerous concessions in preparation for Biden’s visit, including again delaying a scheduled meeting to approve building Jewish homes in E-1 – an area vital for Israel’s security – which connects Jerusalem with Jerusalem suburb Ma’ale Adumim. (See “Fate of E1 Construction Plan Postponed as Israel Gears up for Biden Visit.”)
Specifically, caretaker PM Lapid and Pres. Herzog should urge the Biden administration to end and/or change these hostile policies, among others:
- Biden is reportedly resuming efforts to negotiate a disastrous Iran deal immediately after his upcoming Mideast trip. The deal is a mortal danger to Israel’s survival. The deal would give Iran the pathway to a nuclear bomb in a few short years, and give Iran $90 billion dollars of immediate sanctions relief (which will enrich Hamas and Hezbollah). Biden could even remove sanctions on the IRGC – the world’s largest terrorist organization. Biden’s administration stated that it remains committed to reviving this terrible deal, even after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated last month that the deal was dead due to Iran’s removal of monitoring devices and cameras, and even after the IAEA Board of Governors censured Iran on June 8, 2022, for failing to provide credible information over manufactured nuclear material found at three undeclared sites.
Biden needs to end the Iran negotiations; resume maximum sanctions; establish a credible military option to counter Iran; and provide Israel with the tools Israel needs to address the Iranian threats.
- Biden appointed and elevated numerous antisemites and Israelophobes to top positions in his administration. These include: Hady Amr – who wrote that he was “inspired by the Intifada” (the terror wars in which Arab terrorists murdered or maimed approximately 10,000 Jews); Reema Dodin – who justified and even encouraged suicide bombings against Jews, organized anti-Israel rallies, and spread Medieval-style blood libels, including the false claim that Israel denies Palestinian Arabs food, water, and medical treatment; Maher Bitar – who organized the Palestine Solidarity Movement anti-Israel boycott conference at Georgetown, and ran a session at the conference on how to demonize Israel, and also held positions with and/or assisted anti-Israel hate groups Sabeel, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Badil, the misnamed Foundation for Middle East Peace, and UNRWA; Karine Jean-Pierre – who helped orchestrate Democratic presidential candidates’ boycott of a major pro-Israel conference; Wendy Sherman – who negotiated the terrible Iran deal, praised secret concessions to Iran, and downplayed PLO suicide bombings and other terror attacks on innocent Israelis, by calling this mere “nagging disruptions from the Palestinian side”; Avril Haines – who signed a vicious letter falsely accusing Israel of violence, terrorism, and incitement; apologist for Hamas and a nuclear Iran Robert Malley; and numerous others.
- Biden has failed to condemn or take action against the antisemitic Democratic Congressional squad. The Squad’s vicious antisemitic and Israelophobic speeches, tweets and legislative proposals are helping foment antisemitism throughout the United States.
Horrifyingly, instead of condemning the Squad’s antisemitism, on May 18, 2021, while Israel was being bombarded by over 4,300 Hamas rockets, Biden strongly praised and promoted and inspired and mainstreamed Jew-hater Rep. Rashida Tlaib – who opposes Israel’s very existence. Shortly after Tlaib again promoted anti-Israel boycotts and falsely called Israel an apartheid state, Biden said to Tlaib, “I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, I admire your concern for so many other people. You’re a fighter and G-D thank you for being a fighter.”
- Biden resumed U.S. funding to UNRWA, thereby enabling Hamas-run UNRWA to continue teaching children to aspire to murder Jews.
- Biden violated the letter and/or spirit of the Taylor Force Act, by resuming U.S. funding of Palestinian Arab “projects” (governmental functions that the Palestinian Authority would otherwise need to pay for), to the tune of half a billion dollars last year. Money is fungible. Thus, these U.S. taxpayer dollars free up funds for the Palestinian Authority to continue making $400 million dollars per year of “pay to slay” bounties rewarding Arab terrorists for murdering innocent Jews and others. The Biden administration’s indirect funding of these heinous PA payments needs to end.
- Outrageously, Biden and his administration (including Secretary Blinken and Ambassador Nides) condemn Jews for building homes in the lawful Jewish homelands in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria while saying nothing about massive illegal Arab building. (Even back in 1982, Biden condemned PM Begin for building homes in Judea/Samaria). It’s time for the Biden administration to end these blatant antisemitic attacks on Jews’ rights to live in the Jewish homeland. Unfortunately, the delay in the E-1 approval meeting reveals that caretaker PM Lapid is weakly bowing to the Biden administration’s antisemitic pressures, instead of proudly standing up for the Jewish people.
- The Biden administration continues to promote creating a Palestinian Arab terror state on Israel’s lawful land – another mortal danger to Israel. Secretary of State Tony Blinken even stressed promoting such a terror state during Blinken’s congratulatory phone call to caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid last week.
- The Biden administration has continually pressured Israel to allow the opening of an illegal, divisive, wasteful U.S.-“Palestinian” consulate in Jerusalem, despite strong Israeli opposition to such a consulate. The consulate is designed to undermine Israel’s sovereignty in her eternal capital Jerusalem, and divide Jerusalem. Opening the consulate would violate the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995; the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs; and the Oslo Accords. Yet, at a press briefing on May 31, 2022, Biden’s State Department again reasserted that the Biden administration is “committed” to opening this illegal consulate.
- Just days ago, on July 4th, in a statement that seemed to be designed to intimidate Israel’s new caretaker government, the Biden administration asserted – contrary to the evidence – that an Israeli bullet “likely” killed Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh.
In sum, the Biden administration is constantly pressuring Israel and undermining Israel’s rights, safety, and sovereignty. These are not the policies of a “true friend of Israel” and fighter against antisemitism. Israel’s caretaker government should demand that Biden reverse course, and earn his medal of honor.