I will gather all the nations… and I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people… Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land. Joel 3:2
In mid July US President Joe Biden made his first visit to Israel as President, en-route to Saudi Arabia. The President’s visit comes at a strange time as Israel is overseen by a caretaker government, with elections set for November 1 this year. He was warmly received at Ben Gurion airport by interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and President Isaac Herzog.
President Biden shared that he believes his Middle East policies are improving the situation:, “I’m proud to say that our relationship with the State of Israel is deeper and stronger, in my view, than it’s ever been,” He also said current US policy is bringing “Greater peace. Greater stability. Greater connection.”
In a Washington Post op-ed prior to the trip, the President touted his passing the largest aid bill to Israel—$4 billion—at the same time giving $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Is the President a friend of Israel?
“...You need not be a Jew to be a Zionist,” President Biden declared in his arrival speech, stating a straightforward and important fact. His words on this trip leave little question about his personal love for the Jewish State, but the policies and words of President Biden and his administration prior to this point have been anything but supportive of the Jewish State.
- We can start by looking at his support of a Two State Solution. Not only is such a “solution” contrary to the Bible—a book the President claims to follow—it would also pave the way for a terrorist state. Two State Solution proponents call for Israel to negotiate with the PA—a terrorist government—and stipulate that such a state must be Jew-free. On his trip President Biden plans to meet with PA president Mahmoud Abbas, a corrupt supporter, and instigator of, terrorism against Israel.
- The Biden administration has also proved to be very hostile toward Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, pressuring Israel to stop building and saying settlement building is stupid and infuriating. Since they are pursuing a Palestinian State in Israel’s heartland, the administration sees Jews making their homes in Judea as an obstacle to peace.
- Then we have the Iranian threat. President Biden supports the Iran deal that removed sanctions from Iran, in exchange for mere promises that they would discontinue development of a nuclear weapon, since the temporary agreement would have been virtually impossible to enforce.
- Finally, the Biden administration challenges full Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem by repeatedly signaling the US’s intention to reopen a Palestinian Consulate in the Holy City. Not only is there no practical reason for a separate consulate, doing so would recognize PA authority in Israel’s capital. The President also visited a Palestinian hospital in Jerusalem, barring Israelis from accompanying him and removing the Israeli flags from his limousine.
The Jerusalem U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration
On Thursday US and Israeli leaders signed a declaration to outline continued partnership going forward. It included a strong US commitment to Israel’s security and this nice-sounding statement regarding the boycott (BDS) movement. “The United States and Israel affirm that they will continue to work together to combat all efforts to boycott or de-legitimize Israel.” The problem with this statement is the Biden administration does not recognize Judea and Samaria—which is the main target of the BDS movement—as part of Israel.
Jews in Judea and Samaria respond
Josh Hasten, spokesman for Gush Etzion and talk-show host, gathered responses from leaders in Judea and Samaria to President Biden’s visit. At the forefront is a call to Israeli leadership not to divide the Land of Israel. Binyamin Regional Council chairman Israel Ganz called on the US delegation to visit the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, “with Judea and Samaria at the heart of the debate between us, it’s only fitting that the president should come and talk to us and not about us.”
Gedaliah Blum, who works to establish and promote businesses in Judea and Samaria expressed his lack of concern, “The Jews in Judea and Samaria are a reality in this area—we are growing, thriving and living, and building businesses, and so I have absolutely no concern over anything Biden might bring to the table,” he said.
And he’s right that the Jews who love the Land of Israel are continuing in their work of restoration undaunted by the whims and ideologies of foreign leaders. Jewish groups in Israel are working to begin establishing new communities in Judea and Samaria just days after President Biden’s visit. The organization Nachala is working with more than 1,000 volunteers to establish 28 new hilltop communities in the near future!
The days should be long gone that people are hailed as pro-Israel while their words and actions actually do harm to the Jewish State. The aid and support given by the United States is no doubt important to Israel's security. Yet at the same time our leaders' insistence on dividing the Land, and pressuring of Israel to negotiate with terrorists have worsened the prospects of peace.
The result is that over the last thirty years thousands of Jews have been murdered, and generations of Palestinians raised in squalid conditions and taught to hate. It’s not enough to affirm only some of Israel’s right to exist. That’s not Zionism. A true Zionist doesn’t condemn Jews peacefully building in their homeland, but instead recognizes the beautiful work they are doing and throws their support behind it!