December 1, 2023

Democrats Have a Real Problem With Israel

Joe Biden is caught between the actually reasonable Chuck Schumer and the unhinged Rashida Tlaib.

Imagine being a Democrat right now. On one side of your party, you have generally decent people who support Israel. On the other, you have some unhinged and very vocal loons who back the genocidal Nazis of Hamas, which has Chuck Schumer beside himself. Joe Biden is caught in the middle, which adversely affects events on the ground in Israel and Gaza.

To those events, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced this morning that Hamas had “violated” the ceasefire and “did not live up to its duty to release all the kidnapped women today,” so the Israeli military resumed airstrikes in Gaza. At least 110 hostages have been returned, while an estimated 137 remain held by the jihadists. Hamas claims some hostages have been killed by Israeli bombings, though if that’s true, it’s undoubtedly because Hamas used them as shields, putting them in harm’s way to create casualties just as they do with their own civilian population.

“We are going to fight Hamas till we prevail,” Netanyahu said, “no matter how long it takes.”

Where’s Joe Biden and his administration in all this?

On Tuesday, whoever posts on social media for the 81-year-old president declared: “To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek. We can’t do that.” So, what, Israel fighting back is giving in to Hamas? Israel should permanently quit the fight because continuing is to behave like Hamas?

On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he’d given Israel a warning: “I made clear that before Israel resumed major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians.” Again, that’s much harder given Hamas’s use of civilians. Blinken said the U.S. still supports Israel, but that support is contingent on “compliance with international humanitarian law.”

The administration is even demanding safe zones where Palestinian civilians can avoid combat areas. As analyst Noah Rothman put it, “If the White House has issued a similar call on Hamas’s terrorist fighters to limit their activities to the areas in which Israelis are conducting combat operations, we haven’t heard about it.”

Meanwhile, our Emmy Griffin and Douglas Andrews have given heart-wrenching accounts of how Hamas, not Israel, has been violating international humanitarian law.

That Team Biden continues to feel the need to instead lecture the good guys shows how far off base the Democrat base is.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is beginning to understand that alarming reality. In a moving and impassioned speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, the nation’s highest-ranking Jewish official unloaded on his left flank for “the rise of anti-Semitism in America.”

Being a Democrat, Schumer couldn’t give this speech without the obligatory lecture about all the haters supposedly occupying the Right, too. For example, he reiterated the falsehood about Donald Trump’s supposed “Muslim ban.”

Still, we can’t believe we’re saying this, but we wholeheartedly agree with the bulk of Schumer’s speech. Here’s the most important excerpt:

The solidarity that Jewish Americans initially received from many of our fellow citizens was quickly drowned out by other voices.

While the dead bodies of Jewish Israelis were still warm, while hundreds of Jewish Israelis were being carried as hostages back to Hamas tunnels under Gaza, Jewish Americans were alarmed to see some of our fellow citizens characterize a brutal terrorist attack as justified because of the actions of the Israeli government.

A vicious, bloodcurdling, premeditated massacre of innocent men, women, children, the elderly — justified!

Even worse, in some cases, people even celebrated what happened, describing it as the deserved fate of quote “colonizers” and calling for quote “glory to the martyrs” who carried out these heinous attacks.

Many of the people who have expressed these sentiments in America aren’t neo-Nazis, or card-carrying Klan members, or Islamist extremists. They are in many cases people that most liberal Jewish Americans felt previously were their ideological fellow travelers.

Schumer condemned the ignorant parroting of Hamas’s genocidal “from the river to the sea” chant, which represents the “intention to eliminate Jewish people not only from Israel but from every corner of the Earth.” He didn’t go so far as to name a fellow elected Democrat, but Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib is guilty of this.

He rebuked leftists who argue that Jews have “become the ‘oppressors’” and rushed to “blame the attack on the past actions of the Israeli government.” He didn’t say so, but the allegation he’s rebutting is Marxist critical race theory. He did, however, implicitly criticize the American education system (controlled by Democrats) because young people “don’t have a full understanding of [Jewish] history.”

The senator was also clear about Hamas’s culpability for civilian casualties. “By committing such heinous atrocities on October 7th before sneaking back into their tunnels underneath hospitals and refugee camps in Gaza,” he said, “Hamas has knowingly invited an immense civilian toll during this war, exploiting the double standard that so much of the world applies to Israel.” Indeed, there’s a reason the Gaza Health Ministry deliberately does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths.

As for those anti-Semitic but ideological fellow travelers he spoke of, they are the reason for a disconcerting truth, as articulated in a lengthy column by analyst Caroline Glick: “Biden is the primary obstacle to Israeli victory.”

After Hamas murdered 1,200 innocent Israelis on October 7 and the Biden administration began speaking of support for Israel, Biden’s poll numbers have fallen, likely because of the pro-Palestinian folks in Democrat ranks. Thus, he and his team have tempered their rhetoric with the kinds of warnings Blinken gave to Netanyahu.

The administration pushed hard to delay the initial Israeli response and then quickly pleaded for a ceasefire and every possible extension. The release of hostages is certainly welcome, but resuming that war now, much less actually destroying Hamas, will be even more difficult for the Israel Defense Forces.

Space doesn’t permit here, but a big part of the reason for the difficulty for Israel is the convoluted web of Hamas. First of all, “The notion that the Palestinians are a peace-loving people who should not be conflated with Hamas is laughable,” argues jihad expert Andrew McCarthy. “Hamas is less a ruler than a reflection of the Palestinians.” Worse, he says: “Hamas is not Israel’s main opponent. It is, instead, a proxy of Iran.” Iran, in turn, enjoys support from Turkey and Qatar, both ostensible U.S. allies, and from Democrats like Joe Biden and Barack Obama before him.

Chuck Schumer was right to denounce the anti-Semitic Left. But just as important is the fact that Joe Biden is hardly a friend of Israel because he’s beholden to the radical extremists who hold sway in the Democrat Party.

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