In an interview this past weekend with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Joe Biden painted a dismal picture of one of America’s closest allies. Following up on previous statements damning Israel’s leaders, Biden claimed that the Jewish state was being run by “one of the most extreme governments” he’s ever seen.
Clearly, Biden is hoping that Netanyahu’s opponents succeed, though the chances of that happening are receding with each passing month. And they are fading precisely because Biden’s evaluation of that government, coupled with the implication that Netanyahu is not in control and at the mercy of its most right-wing elements, is completely false.
It’s true that this current coalition, unlike Netanyahu’s previous governments, lacks any left-wing or supposedly centrist parties. Still, the notion that the prime minister is a hostage to the so-called extremists in the cabinet, like Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, is simply untrue. It is Netanyahu who is very much calling the shots in Jerusalem. Given Biden’s own clear problems in asserting control over his own administration and his daily problems in expressing himself in a way that doesn’t call attention to his age, can he say the same?
The argument about what Israel should do about the P.A. is complicated. Mahmoud Abbas, its 87-year-old leader, is a big part of the problem, and the same is true for the rest of the Fatah Party kleptocracy that he leads. The P.A. works against peace in international forums. It foments violence and hatred of Israel and Jews in its official media and schools.
Moreover, despite Biden’s arguments to the contrary, the government’s support of the right of Jews to live and build throughout Judea and Samaria doesn’t make it extreme. Their views on territorial issues and the conflict are far more mainstream than the parties of the left that Biden would prefer to be in power.
It is because Netanyahu remains a strong leader who is very much in charge of things that Biden wants him out. The same applies to Israeli leftists who fear that judicial reform will end the juristocracy that effectively prevents the right from governing no matter who wins elections. They are determined to destroy Netanyahu by fair means or foul.
Biden’s war on the Netanyahu government isn’t promoting peace or strengthening U.S. interests in the Middle East. By fighting a losing battle aimed at ousting a Democratically elected government, he is drawing attention to his own weaknesses.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
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