My Disaffection with Biden

In a nutshell it’s this: He is still arming Israel to the teeth while that country commits flagrant genocide in Gaza. A recent story in the New York Review puts it this way: “Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza are at the brink of famine—a human-made disaster with roots in Israel’s history of using food as a weapon.”

Many, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the United Nations, have accused Israel of genocide in Gaza, deliberate and planned. We’ve all heard statements by the jingo Netanyahu and other Jewish leaders to that effect. Sen. Schumer calls for new elections but still supports military aid to Israel. Some Jews like me think this is a spectacularly wrong approach.

Others in Congress oppose the aid or at least question it. Outrage over the murder of food aid workers by the IDF has made the situation much more volatile. President Biden wants the House Foreign Affairs Committee

to approve a package that includes 50 new F-15 fighter jets valued at $18 million [each], 30 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and a number of Joint Direct Attack Munition kits, which turn dumb bombs into precision-guided weapons . . . .

Last month,

the State Department authorized the transfer of 25 F-35A fighter jets and engines worth roughly $2.5 billion, U.S. officials said. The case was approved by Congress in 2008, so the department was not required to provide a new notification to lawmakers.

And then there are the US-made 2000-lb bombs that have caused that horrific death toll in Gaza. Most countries proscribe them.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently told the committee: “’We don’t have any evidence of genocide being [committed]’ by Israel in Gaza.” This from the man who could not admit he had a prostate problem. Biden has a reelection problem, and he’s alienating thousands of voters, including me. Do you want to placate Israel’s right wing, Joe, or lose in November? For many, it’s become a Hobson’s choice.

Jewish agitprop organizations like AIPAC and the AJC will rise at every opportunity to defend anything Israel does. I’ve written before about this: “One does not expect proportionality in warfare but Israel’s violent response has cost it dearly with a preponderance of people around the world. The conflict has pushed many down the rabbit hole of partisan madness.”

If Biden doesn’t come to his senses about the rearming, he will turn off a great many voters in November. The growing protests, particularly among younger people, show that many will sit out the election if the president doesn’t change course. AIPAC’s talking points in fact support exactly what many Republicans are saying about the conflict. Read them here.

Jewish support for Israel has always been a fraught issue for those who have observed the country’s history with the Palestinians. Peter Maass, a journalist, recently wrote a fine piece about this in the Washington Post that resonated with me. “My Jewish identity was always a bit vague because my ancestors were German Jews who assimilated at the speed of cultural sound; when I was growing up, we even had a Christmas tree.“ Same here, Peter, and I’ve written about that too.

Some of the protests against Israel’s actions have been antisemitic. Still, many if not most Jews recognize the idea that it is not only legitimate to defend the lives of innocent Palestinians; it’s part of what we recognize as the morality of being Jewish. One continues to hope Biden will come to his senses.

5 Replies to “My Disaffection with Biden”

  1. I agree that the US’s current stance on and support of the Israeli response to the Hamas is a violation of every moral and ethical ideal we supposedly hold. I am horrified. Given the world we live in it is Bidens domestic policy that counts for me as a voter in Nov 2024. Biden has always supported Israel more than it deserves…

  2. Well stated John. I read Maass’s article and thought it should be mandatory reading for everyone who hears or reads about the genocide going on in Gaza. Biden could stop this war, but he is in Bibi’s hands – apparently – as is Shumer, Austin and so many others who should know better. I cannot in all good conscience, vote for the Biden/Harris ticket. I know this will cause people to criticize me, but I would prefer to stick to my values of human life and what it is worth rather than play puppet to Bibi and his minions, Biden is also trying to win over young voters by canceling student debt – good luck with that. Most of them say he is too old and will not vote for him due to his stand (or not) in Gaza. In my book, that already is Stike 2. One more and you’re out, Joe.

  3. I read the article by Peter Maass, written on April 9th. I assume that’s the article referenced in your blog, today. I’m totally conflicted and horrified about Gaza. I understand that Israel has mistreated the Palestinians for decades and I understand the history but am fearful that Israel will be annihilated by Iran in the coming weeks if we don’t help them militarily. I also question Sally Sell’s statement that she won’t vote for Biden because of his actions on arming Israel. Would she really vote for Trump, a lying, adulterous, misogynist, rapist, and vulgar bully who would order our military to attack US citizens if given half a chance? Ok…I’m done here. Already said too much.

  4. I also read the Maass piece. Brave of him and you, John, to write these clear and strong words. We need more of it, as soon as possible. “…it’s part of what we recognize as the morality of being Jewish.” I’m not Jewish, but that’s what I have always thought of those who are.

Leave a comment

Discover more from Goodman Speaks

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading