Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and Director of Research & Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The Zionist Organization of America urges interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Israeli President Isaac Herzog to cancel giving underserving 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.” This award makes no sense. A “true friend of Israel” and fighter against antisemitism would not pursue the numerous policies undermining Israel’s sovereignty and security that President Biden and his administration are pursuing, including 100’s of millions of U.S. tax dollars financially aiding and abetting Palestinian Arab terror against Jews.
Nor would “a true friend of Israel” take advantage of Israel’s caretaker government to make visits, as Biden is doing, 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.”
President Joe Biden’s hostile policies toward Israel include:
- Biden bragged about giving $500 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Arabs – and is planning to announce an additional aid package for Palestinian Arab facilities on his upcoming trip to Israel. This funding for Palestinian Arab government functions aids and abets terror by freeing up the $400 million per year that the Palestinian Authority spends on substantial lifetime pensions to reward Arab terrorists for murdering Jews and Americans. (The more Jews murdered, the higher the PA reward.) Biden is blatantly violating and/or circumventing the Taylor Force Act. The Biden administration’s indirect funding of these heinous PA payments needs to end.
In addition, Biden restored funding to UNRWA – which hides Hamas rockets in its schools, employs Hamas terrorists, and teaches children to murder Jews. UNRWA textbooks currently used throughout both Gaza and the Palestinian Authority teach students to die as a martyr by killing Israelis.
- 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. It’s time for the Biden administration to end these blatant antisemitic attacks on Jews’ rights to live in the Jewish homeland.
Biden has attacked Jews for living in the Jewish homeland throughout his political career. In 1982, then-Senator Biden threatened then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting to cut aid to Israel if Israel refused to agree to Biden’s demands to stop Jews from living in Judea/Samaria. PM Begin famously responded: “Don’t threaten us with cutting off your aid. It will not work. I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.”
But now, Lapid and Isaac Herzog are responding to Biden’s lifelong anti-Jewish policies by giving Biden and award! Where is their pride?
Notably, Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s father Chaim Herzog (who was Israel’s UN Ambassador and sixth president) passionately defended Israeli “settlements” (Jews living in Judea/Samaria) in Chaim Herzog’s 1978 book, “Who Stands Accused? Israel Answers Its Critics.” Amb. Chaim Herzog noted: “For centuries, Jews have owned land in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and have of course lived there. They lived on these lands during the period of the Ottoman Empire [1518-1917] and the British Mandate [1922-1948]. They were driven out by Jordanian and Egyptian aggression, which was not recognized by the Arab international community, let alone by the general international community. If one subscribes to the notion that for a Jew to settle on land which he owns, wherever that may be, has no legal validity for the simple reason that he is a Jew, then one is in fact subscribing to the hateful Nazi Nuremberg Laws – many of which apply today in the racist legal codes in Arab countries. . . a [Jordanian] law notes that the sale of land to a Jew is punishable by death,” (pp. 93-94). [The Palestinian Authority adopted the same racist laws.]
How can Chaim Herzog’s son now give an award to Biden – when Biden has spent his life engaging in the very same attacks that Chaim Herzog eloquently defended against, including continually pressuring Israel to forbid Jews from building homes in Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem?
- 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’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 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; 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 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.”
- At George Mason University in September 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris not only refused to condemn an antisemitic student who falsely accused Israel of perpetrating “ethnic genocide and a displacement of people,” but instead VP Harris supported the hateful lie and declared: “your truth should not be suppressed and it must be heard, right.” Biden has refused to criticize and take issue with the Vice President agreeing with an antisemitic blood libel.
- The Biden administration continues to promote creating a Palestinian Arab State which will be a terrorist dictatorship 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.
- An admission by Israel’s foreign minister indicated that Biden strongly pressured Israel to agree to a premature ceasefire in May 2021, before Israel could demolish Hamas’ and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s terror infrastructure in Gaza. This left Hamas and PIJ able to again bombard Israeli civilians with thousands of deadly rockets. Biden’s pressure interfered with the internationally recognized “right of a state to take military action to protect its nationals in mortal danger.” (See Chaim Herzog, “Who Stands Accused,” p. 184, defending Israel’s right to rescue hostages from Entebbe, and describing the double standard that condemns Israel for defending her citizens.)
- On July 4th, 2022, 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. (Palestinian Islamic Jihad was shooting indiscriminately at the IDF and others. See, “ZOA’s Mort Klein JPost Op-Ed: U.S. Statement on Al Jazeera Journalist Killing is Biased, Irresponsible & Wrong,” July 10, 2022.) Biden is reportedly even planning to demand that Israel pay compensation to Abu Akleh’s family and Arab terrorists in Israeli jails – an utter outrage.
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. Giving Biden this major award will only encourage Biden to continue his hostile policies toward Israel, for it will send the message that Israel is comfortable with Biden’s wrongheaded policies. Rescind this award!