Israel's new government currying favor with US Democrats

Yair Lapid, Israel's new foreign minister and architect of the Bennett government that unseated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, indicated that he knows just how to curry favor with the Biden administration.  He lambasted ex-P.M. Netanyahu after twelve successive years leading Israel (fifteen years in all as prime minister), as reported in The New York Times ("Israel’s New Coalition Takes First Steps, Including Mending Fences With U.S.").


Yair Lapid, speaking at the Brookings Institution in 2015.

Another Times article ("Shift in Israel Provides Biden a Chance for Better Ties"), on the felt need of the Bennett government — let's call it the Bennett-Lapid government — for mending fences to "repair" Israel's relations with U.S. Democrats and diaspora Jews, includes this  remark made by Lapid, speaking to officials in Israel's foreign ministry:

"'The outgoing government took a terrible gamble, reckless and dangerous, to focus on the Republican Party and abandon Israel's bipartisan standing[.]'"  The lead story in the Times, June 15, pressed the point that the Biden administration loathed Bibi Netanyahu and looks for "better ties" with the Bennett-Lapid government.   (Where the "mending fences" article had Lapid accusing Netanyahu of being "reckless and dangerous," the lead in "better ties" had it "'careless and dangerous.'")

Does foreign minister Lapid think for a moment that Democrats who accuse Israel of being an apartheid state, who sympathize with Hamas's aggression against Israel, who raise the cry "disproportionate casualties" when Israel acts to defend against Hamas-fired rockets at Israeli civilians — does Yair Lapid think for a moment that these Democrats will embrace his new government, which includes four Israeli Arab members of the Knesset (Israel's Legislature)?  Isn't it more likely that the totalitarian-minded Democrats would denounce the four Israeli Arabs in the Bennett-Lapid government as Uncle Abdullahs?

Hamas, two days after Israel's new government became a political fact, sent incendiary balloons over Israel to set southern areas of the country ablaze.  Israel responded by sending fighter jets over Gaza to attack Hamas positions.  Was Hamas testing the new government's resolve to retaliate?  Was Hamas testing Biden's response to Israeli retaliation under Bennett?  Or was Hamas testing the four Israeli Arab Knesset members to see if they would bring down the Bennett-Lapid government over Israeli airstrikes over Gaza?

These basic questions must certainly occur to Lapid, who, by assembling a government under Israel's 13th prime minister, must have lots of political savvy in his DNA. 

Lapid is set to change places with Bennett and become Israel's 14th prime minister in 2023 — if the Bennett-Lapid government lasts that long.  In evaluating Lapid, this question is uppermost: does he seriously believe that it was Netanyahu who harmed Israel's ties to U.S. Democrats?  Maybe it is the other way around: that the unraveling of Israel's ties to the Democrats was initiated by Obama in his rush to cozy up to Iran's supreme leader?  To raise the question is to lead to an unavoidable conclusion.

Recall, too, that Obama's parting shot at Israel was to allow a U.N. Security Council anti-Israel resolution to be adopted, just before Obama left office.  That incident prompted President-elect Trump to have Michael Flynn try to get Russia to oppose the resolution, an effort that resulted in media criticism of Mr. Trump and Lt. Gen. Flynn. 

Yair Lapid should be asked: would he have backed Obama's attack on Trump and Flynn for trying to protect the Jewish state against yet more calumny from the United Nations?

It would be understandable if Lapid, at this point, echoed Biden administration hostility toward Netanyahu, to lull the John Kerrys and the Susan Rices in Biden's administration into believing he is just as anti-Netanyahu as they.  (Perhaps he really is.)  But if currying favor with the Obama crowd that are Biden's puppeteers signals a willingness of Bennett-Lapid to accept the diktat of the Biden administration, these will be long years indeed for Israel during Biden's tenure.

An American administration that is substantively hostile to Israel, whatever the political mindset of its government, is an American administration more likely to find Israelis rushing to reinstall Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister for a basic, existential, reason: the national security of Israel.  That national security is not helped by a so-called "ally" that forces the Jewish state to fight Hamas aggression with one hand tied behind her back.  

Article 30 of the Hamas Charter makes it clear that anyone — including Obama people in the Biden administration — who gives moral support to Hamas in its ambition to replace Israel with an Islamic state, is considered a jihadist just as much as the terrorist militant. 

Men of letters, members of the intelligentsia, media people, preachers, teachers and educators and all different sectors in the Arab and Islamic world, are all called upon to play their role and to carry out their duty in view of the wickedness of Zionist invasion, of its penetration into many countries, and its control over material means and the media, with all the ramifications thereof in most countries of the world.

Jihad means not only carrying arms and denigrating the enemies. Uttering positive words, writing good articles and useful books, and lending support and assistance, all that too is Jihad in the path of Allah, as long as intentions are sincere to make Allah's banner supreme.

"Those who prepare for a raid in the path of Allah are considered as if they participated themselves in the raid. Those who  successfully rear a raider in their home, are considered as if they participated themselves in the raid" (Told by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi).

It must be assumed that Mr. Lapid is fully knowledgeable on the Hamas anti-Israel credo.

Prime Minister Bennett should realize — along with Lapid — that Israel would be foolhardy to rely on support from a U.S. administration riddled with honorary jihadists.  The political reality is this: at present, there is no bipartisan backing for a secure Israel.

Israel's best American friends are Republicans.  As the late H. Ross Perot might have said: "It's as simple as that."

Photo credit: Ralph Alswang, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.

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