The Good News and the Bad about Joe Biden’s Defense of American Military Aid to Israel

November 5, 2019 | Jonathan Tobin
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After the Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg advocated withholding aid to the Jewish state to punish it for one infraction or another, Joe Biden, the current frontrunner, called the suggestion “absolutely outrageous.” Supporters of Israel from both parties should be relieved that Biden is willing to stand up to the party’s left wing on this issue, writes Jonathan Tobin. But the good news ends there:

Pro-Israel Democrats should worry that their champion is the candidate who has been steadily losing ground since the race began in earnest over the summer. While Biden’s pro-Israel rhetoric is supported by 43 percent of Democrats, according to a Gallup poll, . . . it may also, like Biden himself, better represent the Democrats’ past than their future.

Biden is no longer the odds-on favorite to win the nomination. He’s trailing in the key early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as flopping in the competition for campaign donations. Right now, the momentum is on the side of his more liberal rivals: Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. That quartet make up the top tier of the Democratic field, and if the still large cast of also-rans drop out in the early going next year, that could leave Biden as the sole occupant of the moderate lane in the primaries.

In a competition with far more extreme critics of Israel than he ever was, Biden is the best that pro-Israel Democrats, who once dominated their party, . . . can muster. It is on his aging and uncertain shoulders that the fate of the Democrats as a pro-Israel party rests. That’s a prospect that should scare friends of the Jewish state, no matter which party they support.

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