Blue State Blues: Biden’s Attacks Are Hurting Israeli Morale

Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News

JERUSALEM, Israel — President Joe Biden’s repeated public attacks on Israel and the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have had a devastating effect on Israeli morale.

Israelis are less confident that their military can destroy Hamas; they are frustrated with the lack of progress toward a deal to release the Israeli hostages still being held in Gaza; and they are increasingly divided as they search for a way to overcome the impasse.

That is the effect of Biden’s criticism over the past several weeks.

True, Biden promised Wednesday that his support for Israel against a potential Iranian attack was “ironclad.” But Israelis no longer know if they can trust him, after he backed away from the war against Hamas.

In October, Biden offered Israel “unwavering” support in its fight against Hamas terror. He even traveled to Israel during wartime, the first U.S. president to do so.

There were some troubling signs that his support might not be so “unwavering” after all, as he seemed ready to credit false reports of an Israeli attack on a hospital in Gaza that was hit by a Palestinian rocket. Yet Israelis felt confident, and grateful.

As the war continued, so did the outrage among Arab- and Muslim-American voters, as well as young “progressive” voters. Left-wing staffers in the White House and on Capitol Hill began staging protests. Biden began trashing Israel privately, accusing it in December — falsely — of “indiscriminate” bombing. The administration also grew impatient with Netanyahu’s refusal to accept a Palestinian state at war’s end — a position with which most Israelis agree.

Other members of the administration and the Democratic Party began piling on the criticism. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the bizarre claim at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Israelis were less prepared to accept peace than the Arab and Muslim world. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made the extraordinary demand that Israelis should oust Netanyahu in new elections — and Biden backed up that demand.

The Biden administration opposed an Israeli offensive against Hamas’s last battalions in Rafah, and began inching toward Hamas’s demand that a ceasefire in Gaza come before any hostage releases, declining to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that separated the two.

When seven aid workers were killed in Gaza earlier this month after being mistaken for terrorists, Biden spoke out even more forcefully, demanding an “immediate ceasefire.”

All of this has left Israel’s war effort in Gaza in doubt.

Israelis are convinced their military needs to enter Gaza to finish Hamas, but they also worry about the U.S. cutting off military aid as Hezbollah steps up its attacks from the north. Israelis are also watching helplessly as the U.S. undermines Israel’s bargaining position in hostage talks, causing Hamas to dig in. Meanwhile, protests against Netanyahu are growing — but there is no clear alternative.

And Iran is threatening to retaliate against Israel for an attack on the Iranian generals who have directed much of the carnage. It did not help Israeli confidence that the U.S. told diplomatic employees in Israel this week to avoid travel.

The sense of frustration in Israel is palpable.

On the one hand, Israeli society has rebounded from the shock of October 7. The airport is full again; reservists, home from duty at the front, are going back to school and to work.

The spirit of the Israeli people is still unbreakable. This is a close-knit society, one in which strangers take care of one other, one in which people still know how to sing and dance and celebrate in the face of danger and death.

Survivors of the Supernova massacre gathered this week, as they do every week, for a dance party, determined that the horror of October 7 will not suppress their joy and unity. Musicians like Idan Raichel are performing to packed houses again.

At the same time, however, old political rifts — left vs. right, secular vs. religious — are re-emerging. Israelis worry openly that the country is returning to an “October 6” mentality — when protests, backed by Biden, divided the country.

This is the cost of Biden trashing an ally in wartime.

Many Israelis believe that Biden is responding to political motives, worried about losing Arab and Muslim votes in Michigan. That does not make it any easier to swallow.

They remember that Israeli leaders like Golda Meir and Menachem Begin stood up to U.S. presidents when necessary, but Netanyahu has been so demonized in Washington that doing so would be ineffective.

Will November arrive in time?

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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