Joe Biden has kowtowed to Israel throughout his career, and is finding campaign supporters among wealthy Israel hawks.
by Michael Arria, reposted from Mondoweiss
On September 5, Democratic donor and American Jewish Congress president Jack Rosen held a fundraiser for Joe Biden at his Manhattan home. Rosen is known for being an adamant supporter of Israel and a critic of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.
In an interview with Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh, Rosen said he trusted Biden’s judgement on Israel and didn’t think there would be any “cracks in the friendship.” He also drew a distinction between Biden’s position on Israel and the policies of the Obama administration that he belonged to. He told Kornbluh:
[Biden] has a long history of support for Israel. He has his own point of view. I never heard him say anything that would make me believe he’d follow [former Secretary of State John] Kerry’s method of finding a resolution to the Palestinian problem. He’s never said to me that he would use the U.N. as a tool to force Israel into a position, which President Obama did. I haven’t heard those things from Joe Biden. You know, he was the vice president at the time. But I think I trust that he’s got a balanced view.
Biden’s campaign said that he talked about bringing the international community together to rebuild aspects of the Iran Deal, but Rosen says he told Biden that he doesn’t believe candidates who return to the exact deal should be taken seriously. He also said that the Trump administration’s aggressive Iran policy has opened the door for a the next president to negotiate a better deal.
In 2017, the American Jewish Congress put out a statement supporting the Trump administration’s violation of the Iran Nuclear Deal:
At the time of the signing, it was the Obama Administration’s belief that the agreement would serve to bring Iran in from the cold and strengthen the moderates in the regime. However, the simple fact is that this not happened, and worse the Iranian regime has grown bolder and more dangerous. Unencumbered by the crippling sanctions that were working, they have continued to spread terror around the region.
Biden has been friends with Rosen for decades and has repeatedly bragged about his connections to pro-Israel organizations. In 2008, he told Shalom TV that he was a Zionist before declaring Israel “the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East.” At a dinner in 2011 he told members of Detroit’s Jewish community, “I’ve raised more money from AIPAC than some of you have.”
The Rosen fundraiser came just a day after the New York Times published a long piece on the history of U.S. and Israeli hawks pushing to attack Iran. The piece, which was written by Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti, features an anecdote about Biden from former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren. After the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu broke down, the Israeli Prime Minister began telling people that the former president was “part of the problem.” At a White House meeting in 2010, Biden threw his arm around Netanyahu adviser Uzi Arad and declared, “Just remember that I am your best f***ing friend here.”
Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.