Commentary: The Obama-Biden ‘Ostracize and Punish Israel’ Legacy Will Return if Democrats Win the White House in 2020

by Julie Strauss Levin


Joe Biden portrays himself as Israel’s ally and a friend of the Jewish people. Obama did the same when he was running for president and then he played bait and switch.  It’s time voters wizen up because Biden vows to repeat the Obama-Biden playbook on Israel and the Middle East.  It’s even worse: today’s Democrat party leadership has taken a major turn to the left. They are no friend of the Jewish people here or in Israel.

A quick history lesson is instructive:  In 2008, Candidate Obama pledged Israel’s security was “sacrosanct” and “non-negotiable” with “secure recognized defensible borders,” where Jerusalem would “remain” Israel’s capital and “must remain undivided.”  Fast forward, months later in 2009, then President Obama wasted no time abandoning his empty words.  Embarking on their true agenda, Obama-Biden declared a “serious problem” existed precisely because there was no daylight between the United States and Israel.  Obama-Biden was determined to change that and, off to the races, they didn’t look back.

Obama-Biden embraced the Muslim Brotherhood, awarded millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Palestinians despite their killing Israelis and Americans, pressured Israel to release Palestinian terrorists from jail, insisted Israel suspend “settlements” in its ancestral home, calling these an “occupation,” advocated for the physical division of Jerusalem and surrendering its defensible borders. That’s just a highlight of what this writer refers to as the “Obama-Biden Ostracize and Punish Israel” campaign.

A bit of insight into their “why behind the what” calculus can be summed up with Obama’s own words in 2009. “The aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.  On the other hand, it is also undeniable the Palestinian people … has suffered.”  Shocking really.  In Obama-Biden world, the Holocaust was simply “tragic history” and the ancestral ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, as written in the Old Testament were erased. Poof.  Gone from history was the biblical homeland of the Jewish people.  Instead their ties to Israel began in 1948 according to Obama-Biden.  Add in their moral equivalent of the Holocaust to the Palestinians, and these words well-illustrate the Obama-Biden psyche.

Obama-Biden’s “Ostracize and Punish Israel” tactics are well-illustrated by their disgraceful treatment of PM Netanyahu.  From having Netanyahu enter and leave the White House from a side door, serving him non-Kosher food while Obama dined separately with his family, to Obama-Biden’s cleverly-timed announcement that Israel should return to its 1967 lines while Netanyahu was flying to the United States, as well as Obama’s snarky comment to France’s Sarkozy that Sarkozy “may be sick of [Netanyahu] but I have to deal with him every day,” Obama-Biden’s contempt for Israel was glaringly clear.

And then there was Obama-Biden’s meddling into Israel’s 2015 elections. (Their affinity to election meddling sounds familiar, no?) They actually funneled U.S. taxpayer dollars to try to oust Netanyahu from office through the group OneVoice.  A 2016 Senate report about Obama-Biden’s shocking actions revealed, “OneVoice was even permitted to use State Department funds to hire an American political consulting firm called 270 Strategies — run by Obama 2008 campaign veterans — to train its activists …”  The Obama-Biden ends justified their means.

And while continuously hostile toward Israel, Obama-Biden ignored much of the nefarious activity of the Palestinians, thereby emboldening them.   They continued to teach their children to hate Israelis, engage in terrorist acts, deny Israel’s right to exist, garner empathy at the UN without repercussions, all while getting US dollars.

Even before Obama-Biden’s Ostracize and Punish posture was in full swing, both chambers of Congress objected to Obama-Biden’s activities as early as April 2010 when 76 senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton, rebuking Obama-Biden’s treatment of Israel, urging them to, “reaffirm the unbreakable bonds that tie the United States and Israel together and to diligently work to defuse current tensions.”  A similar letter was sent by more than 300 House members.

Obama-Biden remained undeterred.  They didn’t oppose the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, whose goal is to economically isolate and punish Israel.  Even WaPo’s liberal commentator Jennifer Rubin observed, “[t]hat the administration would in any way encourage BDS practitioners or suggest that some forms of BDS might not be so objectionable is as unprecedented as it is unsurprising.  It is increasingly difficult for fair-minded people to deny the president’s [Obama] anti-Israel animus.”  As Rubin so succinctly described their behavior, “Obama Winks at BDS.”  Biden winked, too.

Circumventing the Constitution’s treaty clause, Obama-Biden entered into the dangerous deal with Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.  Obama-Biden’s “deal” remains as shocking today as it was in 2015 when Obama-Biden gave away the security store to Iran.  Ignoring “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” chants, Obama-Biden gave Iran a clear pathway to nuclear weapons and advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles to transport the same.  They handed $150 billion to Iran, plus $1.8 billion in cash, transported to Iran in the dark of night in an unmarked plane.

What did Big Satan, Iran’s name for the United States, get in return?  Nothing.  Quite the “deal.”  And, to make sure Obama-Biden kept the pulse on what lawmakers and others were saying about the negotiations, Obama-Biden’s NSA surveilled Israeli officials, diplomats, members of Congress and private citizens affiliated with Jewish groups.  Obama-Biden let no grass grow under their spy feet.  And then, because they knew the deal was a disaster, they unleashed their Deputy NSA Advisor Rhodes, who created a “war room” and “echo chamber” to dupe Congress and the American people about the deal.  Rhodes later admitted he lied to “spin” the deal to get the Hill and public to buy-in to the deal.

And let’s not forget Obama-Biden’s final act of Ostracize and Punish in December 2016, only weeks before they left office, this time at the U.N.   It was Biden who served as the point man when he spoke by phone to his pal Ukrainian President Poroshenko, asking that Ukraine vote in favor of the resolution.  (Biden and Ukraine; sound familiar?)  And then there was this.  Choreographing the passage of U.N. Resolution 2334 vote, falsely providing the Old City of Jerusalem was “illegal” and “Occupied Palestinian territory,” Obama-Biden took its Ostracize and Punish campaign even a step further by instigating the humiliation of Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danon.  Like bullies on a playground, Obama-Biden had every other ambassador at the Security Council table stand and applaud the Resolution’s passage as Danon sat there.  Ambassador Haley’s reaction when she learned how Obama-Biden contributed to the U.N.’s anti-Israel stance?  “What really broke my heart … was how much the Obama Administration contributed to it.”

By the time Obama-Biden left office, they achieved more than daylight between the two countries, it was more like a perpetual summer solstice.  Obama-Biden’s hostile attitude toward Israel even elicited this from WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin; “No matter who the next president is, the U.S.-Israel relationship is likely to improve. Nevertheless, Obama’s successor would do well to apologize to Israel for the current president’s divisiveness.” Obama-Biden’s “divisiveness?’  Quite the understatement.

It would take far more than an apology to repair the fractured U.S.-Israel relationship.  It required action, and that is exactly what President Trump did and continues to do.  Put simply, Trump’s Israel policy is exactly the opposite of the Obama-Biden Ostracize and Punish campaign because Trump is a true friend of the Jewish people.  He understands the United States is stronger and the world is safer when we stand unequivocally with Israel, the one and only Jewish state.  Trump took immediate action to repair the Obama-Biden destruction campaign and ensure there is no daylight between the United States and Israel.

Trump acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital, which Obama-Biden’s Secretary of State Kerry wrongly said would cause “an explosion in the region.”  Trump then moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the opening ceremony for which was not attended by a single Democrat Senate or House member. (Biden, by the way, told PBS’ Judy Woodruff in 2019 he wouldn’t have moved the embassy “in the first place.”)  Trump recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, supports Israel’s right to defensible borders and, as a sovereign country, to defend itself, made clear settlements are not illegal, closed the PLO office in Washington, DC, defends Israel at the International Criminal Court, cut off funds to the Palestinian Authority by signing the Taylor Force Act, vigorously defends Israel at the U.N., left the U.N. Human Rights Commission for its abusive treatment of Israel, shredded the Iran deal and imposed snapback sanctions on the terrorist regime, and ceased payments to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for misusing funds. Trump doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk.

Then there is the Middle East Peace Plan, historic in content and unparalleled in approach, Trump tackled peace between Israel and the Palestinians from an entirely new perspective.  And, thanks to President Trump’s diplomacy and leadership, Israel has signed the Abraham Accords, historic peace agreements and normalization of relations, with the U.A.E. and Bahrain, and other Arab countries are expected to follow suit.  Kerry was wrong again when he opined in 2016 that, “there will be no advanced and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace. Everybody needs to understand that. That is a hard reality.”  Actually, the hard reality is that Kerry’s words just reflected Obama-Biden’s antipathy for Israel.

The other hard – but unsurprising – reality is that Kerry was wrong yet again.  This peace deal is more than a rapprochement; it actually brings together not just the governments of these predominantly Muslim countries with Israel, but their citizens, as well, who welcome this bottom-up, warm peace, that includes technological, economic, energy, security, tourism, health-care and other outreach among these nations.  It is this that will cause a long-lasting and positive relationships between their governments and their people. As Netanyahu succinctly said, “Thank you President Trump. You have unequivocally stood by Israel’s side and boldly confronted the tyrants of Tehran. You’ve proposed a realistic vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And you have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today.” President Trump has been nominated for three Nobel Peace prizes, newsworthy unless you’re the mainstream media and then its kept under wraps.

Trump understands the United States is stronger and the world is safer when we stand unequivocally with the one and only Jewish state.  As a true friend of the Jewish people, Trump’s determination to combat anti-Semitism is unshakable.  He condemns acts of anti-Semitism in the strongest terms. He signed an Executive Order last year to fight the rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses by extending protections to Jewish students under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin at colleges and universities receiving federal funding.  Trump succinctly stated, “[t]his is our message to universities.  If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal dollars that you get every year, you must reject anti-Semitism.”  Thanks to Trump’s EO, NYU recently settled an anti-Semitism complaint with the Department of Education.

Trump also signed the JUST Act, strengthening Holocaust restitution efforts, and the Never Again Education Act providing  federal funding for Holocaust education, the purpose of which the Trump Administration stated, “will always work to ensure future generations never forget the Holocaust, that they condemn racial hatred of all types, and that they always work to protect the right of all people to worship freely.”

What a contrast to today’s Democrat Party, the party of anti-Semitism.  As Biden said during the first debate, “I am the Democratic[sic] party.”  He is responsible for the six speakers at Biden’s Democrat National Convention who are fans of anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan (gentle reminder, he calls Jews “termites” and Hitler a “very great man”).  These include Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, who called Farrakhan the “greatest of all time,” the rapper Common, Cory Booker, James Clyburn, and Freddy Haynes, who called Farrakhan a “wonderful and great man.”  Recently Biden released an ad with Rapper Jeezy, who has called Farrakhan a “mentor” and a “great guy.”

The Biden campaign initially distanced itself from Sarsour’s disgraceful appearance, stating she had “no role in the campaign whatsoever.”  Yet it didn’t take too long for the campaign to buckle and apologize for distancing itself after it received a backlash from Sarsour sympathizers.  You are the company you keep, Joe.

This is also the party of the squad, AOC, Rashida Talib, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley.  They’re known for their anti-Semitic statements and their hostility toward Israel.   When Omar spoke anti-Semite tropes in 2019, a House resolution was introduced to condemn Omar and her anti-Semitic words.  Speaker Pelosi and fellow Democrats watered it down so Omar wasn’t named and anti-Semitism was not singularly condemned.  Every House Democrat voted for the resolution, while Republican Congresswoman Cheney called the resolution a “sham … by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism.”  President Trump wrote, “[i]t is shameful that House Democrats won’t take a stronger stand against Anti-Semitism … and it’s inconceivable they will not act to condemn it!”

Omar advocates cutting aid to Israel, endorses the BDS movement, lifting sanctions on Iran, and more.  Pelosi is an Omar supporter, endorsing and giving her campaign $14,000 from Pelosi’s political action committee and her own campaign committee.   Other Senate and House Democrats share Omar’s views.  Just last month more than 160 Democrats voted against a Republican-offered amendment to expand protections by including anti-Semitism as a form of discrimination under the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act.  That’s more than 70% of House Democrats.

It said a lot when the anti-Israel organization J Street endorsed Biden and confirmed its “core ideas and core vision are already at the center of the Democratic Party.”  J Street views the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as “highly provocative,” supports a divided Jerusalem, a U.S. Embassy in the capital of a future Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, a return to 1967 lines, ending “occupation” (aka denying Israel sovereignty over its own land), the BDS movement, and rejoining the Iran deal.

Biden welcomed the endorsement and agrees with J Street.  He promises to re-engage the terrorist, hegemonic regime of Iran by re-joining the Iran deal, and he’ll lift sanctions.  He has stated his opposition to Israeli sovereignty over its own land, and said he will rejoin the U.N. Human Rights Commission, will resume funds to UNWRA and to the PA despite its “pay to slay” practices.  He will “find a way to re-open” the PLO DC office.

Harris agrees.  She said it was a “huge misstep to pull out of the Iran deal,” and “one of the first things [she] would do” would be to re-join it.  That her husband is Jewish doesn’t give Harris cover.  Harris voted against the bi-partisan 2019 bill, Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act, which included security assistance to Israel, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, and Combatting BDS Act.  She opposes Israel’s sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.  She refuses to condemn Talib and Omar’s anti-Semitic statements, and as California’s AG, refused to take investigatory action into claims of anti-Semitism on CA campuses.   And yet, she cheers on the anarchists, ignoring the violent anti-American, anti-Semitic acts of Antifa and BLM, whose actions she has called “brilliant.”

The contrast between Trump and Biden-Harris couldn’t be clearer.   While President Trump is committed to ensuring there’s no daylight between the United States and the Jewish state, Biden embraces the Obama-Biden Ostracize and Punish era.  Only now it will be 2.0 given today’s Democrat party.  Biden will resume massive daylight between the U.S. and Israel, and far-left, anti-Semitic members of Biden’s party, self-described Democrat socialists Sanders, AOC and others, will push him even farther.   As AOC confidently stated last month, “[o]verall, we can likely push Vice President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues.”  And if that’s not frightening enough, recall when Obama-Biden’s Secretary of Defense Gates said Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”  A perfect storm for disaster.

No wonder the mullahs of Iran, the PA, Hamas, Hezbollah, Antifa, BLM and every other hostile entity and individual that seeks the demise of the United States and Israel are rooting for Biden to win.  That says it all, and we can’t let that happen.

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Julie Strauss Levin is an attorney who loves her country and the Jewish homeland of Israel.






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