Earlier this week, on the Justice Counts and Lean to the Left Podcasts, Bob Gatty and I interviewed psychotherapist, professor, author, and feminist Dr. Phyllis Chesler. She was a compelling guest, and I encourage you to listen in when the episode streams (see below).
Dr. Chesler agrees that Israel has an absolute right to defend itself against Hamas terror. However, we appear to disagree on who should lead the United States while Israel battles for its life. I asked whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden would be better for Israel. She hemmed, hawed, and responded: “Nikki Haley.”
She explained that she is troubled by the radical left-wing, but we already know that Donald Trump is a right-wing fanatic who appeals to the worst fringe groups of the Republican party. Apparently while I was sleeping, life-long moderate Joe Biden became a radical, as Dr. Chesler sees things.
There is little doubt that Biden is the better choice, over Trump or Haley, for Jews and Israel.
Here’s the case for Joe Biden:
In the realm of U.S. politics, the relationship between America, American Jews, and Israel has long been critical and multifaceted. While I understand that political preferences vary, when we examine critical policy stances, diplomatic approaches, and historical context, a Biden presidency would foster a more robust alliance and address the unique concerns of the Jewish community.
Policy Consistency and Predictability
One reason (of many) Biden stands as a preferable choice for Jews and Israel is his commitment to a more consistent and predictable foreign policy. During his tenure, Trump was wildly unpredictable in his approach to international relations, causing grave diplomatic uncertainty. Biden brings a wealth of experience in foreign affairs and is dedicated to maintaining a stable relationship with Israel and all of our allies.
Biden's stance on the Iran Nuclear Deal reflects a pragmatic and diplomatic approach. Trump withdrew from the deal. Biden correctly believes that preventing Iran from acquiring a nuke is critical to US foreign policy. His nuanced approach aligns with the interests of both Israel and the global Jewish community, as it aims to address security concerns while avoiding unnecessary escalations.
Diplomacy and Multilateral Cooperation
Biden's approach to diplomacy emphasizes multilateralism and collaboration. Trump favors a unilateral approach, the so-called America First or MAGA approach. A unilateral policy does not foster global alliances, something critical for a nation like Israel, situated in the complicated Middle East. Biden's commitment to rebuilding international partnerships creates a more favorable environment for addressing regional challenges.
The United Nations has been toothless when it comes to defending Israel. The UN is often a harsh critic of the tiny Jewish state. The UN should note that Israel has never started any war, including this one. On October 7, the country was attacked by Hamas, a terrorist organization that butchered innocent men, women, children, and infants. I’d like to see the UN step up and defend Israel’s absolute right to defend itself.
However, the UN is a forum where nations address grievances and talk to each other. President Biden seeks to foster constructive dialogue among our allies and garner support for Israel’s stability and security. Trump would likely seek to withdraw from the UN.
Think I’m full of it? Think again. We’ve seen this movie before: As president, Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and the UN Human Rights Council. These unilateral decisions diminish our ability to influence global affairs positively.
Respecting Democratic Values
President Biden's policies and values align more closely with the values cherished by American and Israeli Jews. In a word, he’s a mensch. Throughout his career, Biden has been a staunch advocate for human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. His commitment to these principles resonates with our core values and reinforces the shared democratic foundations of the United States and Israel. While Trump pledged support for Israel, his policies and erratic behavior toward democratic institutions, at home and abroad, fail to reinforce American and Israeli democratic principles. And, he has often been a bully, the opposite of a mensch.
Addressing Anti-Semitism and Hate Crimes
No contest here unless you’re an anti-Semite or a White Supremacist. The rise of anti-Semitism and hate crimes is a global disgrace. Jewish people everywhere must face these challenges head-on. President Biden has always stood up for the Jewish people, placing a high priority on combating hate crimes and fostering inclusiveness. His administration has consistently condemned anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish communities.
Donald Trump? In 2017, he attended a “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville. One of them ran over and killed a counter-protestor. Trump defended the nationalists and said there were “very fine people on both sides.” In 2020, he invited the Proud Boys to “stand by.” He dined with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes and has repeatedly uttered racist dog whistles. When Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of killing two people during a Black Lives Matter counterprotest, Trump called him a “really nice young man” and invited him to Mar-a-Lago.
Racism, anti-Semitism, and discrimination are not “paint between the lines” issues. An effective president cannot play both sides against the middle to pine for votes. The American Jewish population needs a president who is unequivocal in his condemnation of bigots, white nationalists, and anti-Semites. President Biden offers a reasoned and comprehensive strategy to address hate crimes and discrimination, something that the African-American and American Jewish populations should embrace.
Joe Biden is the better choice for Jews and Israel. He’s espoused a consistent foreign policy, diplomatic approach, commitment to democratic values, and dedication to combating anti-Semitism. The complexities of the Middle East demand a leader who can navigate international relations with wisdom and a steady hand.
Biden's presidency promises a strengthened alliance with Israel, bolstered by a commitment to shared values and a renewed focus on diplomacy. I am not naïve. I understand we may have political differences, but the case for Joe Biden is grounded in policy diplomacy and deeply rooted in the enduring values that make America and Israel shining examples of democracy in a troubled world.
Editor's Note: The Justice Counts audio episode with Dr. Chesler is scheduled to stream Nov. 27, while the Lean to the Left video and audio podcast versions are scheduled to stream Nov. 30.
Please check out Mark Bello’s ripped-from-the-headlines legal thrillers, all available online at Amazon and other major online booksellers. He has quite the hero in Attorney Zachary Blake, who fights for justice on all fronts. His books are Betrayal of Faith, Betrayal of Justice, Betrayal in Blue, Betrayal in Black, Betrayal High, Supreme Betrayal, Betrayal at the Border, You Have the Right to Remain Silent and his latest, and his latest, “The Final Steps – A Harbor Springs Cozy Legal Mystery. Also, he’s written a wonderful children’s book about bullying, “Happy Jack, Sad Jack.” For more info, just check markmbello.com.