One of the parting shots from the Obama-Biden administration was to push for the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, stating that Israeli settlements constitute “a flagrant violation under international law” and that all building in the disputed Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, must “immediately and completely cease.”
In the past, the U.S. would always veto these anti-Israel resolutions put forth in the U.N., but on their way out of the White House in December 2016, they finally had a free shot to reveal their contempt for Israel. After all, hadn’t then-Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu defied President Barack Obama in 2015 when he spoke directly to Congress in Washington in stark opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was an urgent priority to Obama?
So, perhaps it should come as no surprise how overtly hostile the Biden-Harris administration has become towards Israel since taking power in January 2021 and in the lead-up to the reportedly imminent reinstatement of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal from which President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., pointed out recently that three State Department officials on the negotiating team have resigned “because America is making too many concessions. That is reason for concern. Certainly, it’s reason for deep concern here [in Israel]. The Iran deal of 2015 was presented as a deal that would block Iran’s path to the bomb. That was a lie. It actually paved Iran’s path to the bomb and assured Iran, after little more than a decade, would be in a position to enrich enough uranium, not for one bomb, but for a hundred bombs.”
In addition, he added, the agreement did nothing to stop Iran from building ICBMs that can carry nuclear warheads, or from actually building a warhead. He said that Israel learned when the Mossad smuggled documents out of Iran in 2018 that “Iran never stopped or slowed its work on producing nuclear warheads. In the meantime, sanctions would be lifted, and Iran would receive hundreds of billions of dollars in international transactions. They were going to use that to build more rockets.” Already there are more than 100,000 missiles controlled by Hezbollah in Lebanon capable of striking Israel.
The Obama-Biden administration held it against Israel when Netanyahu addressed Congress while Obama was busy trying to complete and justify the deal; though in reality, when Obama and Iran got up from the table in July 2015 and announced the deal, they had no actual deal. The State Department later acknowledged that “it is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” but rather that it merely reflects “political commitments.”
The current U.S. ambassador to Israel under Biden is Thomas Nides, a former undersecretary in the Obama administration who served as the vice chairman of Morgan Stanley from 2013 through 2021. He recently participated in a webinar with the left-wing group, Americans for Peace Now, and told them, “We can’t do stupid things that impede us for a two-state solution,” according to the Jerusalem Post, adding, “We can’t have the Israelis doing settlement growth in east Jerusalem or the West Bank. I’m a bit of a nag on this, including the idea of settlement growth – which infuriates me, when they do things – just infuriates the situation, both in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
In 2018, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, named after an American military veteran murdered in Tel Aviv by an Islamic terrorist. The PLO government in Ramallah rewarded the killer with a generous pension, part of their long-running “Pay to Slay” program to imprisoned Islamic terrorists or their families as a reward for killing Jews. The Taylor Force Act, signed by then-President Trump, ended American subsidies to the PLO until such a time as it stopped funding terrorism.
Nides used the PLO term for “Pay to Slay,” describing them as “martyr payments,” and the administration has resumed those payments despite the law. As Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Mag wrote that while “Islamic terrorists describe their crimes as ‘martyrdom,’ an American ambassador should use the term, ‘terrorism,’ instead of talking like a Jihadist.”
Nides’ main issue with “these martyr payments” is that they “have caused an enormous amount of problems” since it gives the ‘haters’ an excuse not to support the PA based on the argument that it is ‘paying for people who killed Jews.’”
Nides also has shown support to groups like J Street and others who support the BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) movement against Israel. While the administration pays lip service to being closely allied with Israel, their actions and personnel speak otherwise.
This column was originally published in the Jewish Herald-Voice
The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.