In the weeks after October 7th, the Israeli government spent their time — and if you live in the US, your tax dollars — bombing hospitals, mosques, schools, refugee camps, and entire neighborhoods. Generations of families were wiped off the face of the earth. At one point, a Palestinian child was being killed every ten minutes. And through it all, one thing was made very clear: whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is in the White House, Israel will have a blank check to commit endless atrocities.
“I am a Zionist,” then-Vice President Biden told Shalom TV in 2008. “You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.”
In 2013, VP Biden appeared before the American Israel Pubic Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to recap the Obama administration’s first-term support for Israel:
“We’ve held the most regular and largest-ever joint military exercises. We’ve invested $275 million in Iron Dome, including $70 million that the President directed to be spent last year on an urgent basis — to increase the production of Iron Dome batteries and interceptors.”
When Israel launched its brutal assault of Gaza over the summer of 2014, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki took a break from defending Obama-Biden’s air wars in seven countries and offered a defense of Israel’s actions, saying “no country should be expected to stand by while rockets are launched into their country.”
That December, Biden spoke before the Saban Forum in DC and admitted “if there weren’t an Israel, we’d have to invent one.” He then proceeded to spend the bulk of his remaining speech fearmongering about Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program, mentioning the country by name just over 50 times.
Still, none of this stopped Trump in 2015 from calling the Obama-Biden administration “the worst thing” that ever happened to Israel.
After he became president, Trump officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, recognized occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, became the fourth US president to sign a letter pledging not to disarm Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and cut US humanitarian aid to Palestine.
In 2019, Israel responded to Hamas rocket attacks by launching airstrikes inside Gaza, and Trump wasted no time quickly coming to their defense on Twitter, writing that the US supports Israel “100%” while adding: “to the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery.”
The following year, Trump proposed his “Deal of the Century” to once and for all resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. As reported by the Associated Press in January of that year, it involved “the creation of a Palestinian state in parts of the West Bank, but would allow Israel to annex its settlements in the occupied territory. The plan would allow the Palestinians to establish a capital on the outskirts of east Jerusalem but would leave most of the city under Israeli control.”
Unsurprisingly, the deal was overwhelmingly rejected.
When Biden took office in 2021, one of his first acts was to quickly restore aid to Palestine cut by Trump. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
In a sign of much worse things to come, fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas in May of that year, resulting in 248 dead Gazans, including 66 children. Biden’s staffers — 500 of them — implored him to do more to protect civilians. Instead, he reaffirmed Israel’s “right” to self defense.
According to Al-Jazeera 5/21/21:
“As the Palestinian death toll mounted, and Israel’s bombardment destroyed buildings across the territory – including a tower housing the media offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press – calls for action, especially from the Biden administration, grew louder. Thousands of people rallied in cities across the US demanding an end to Israel’s attacks and US legislators spoke out against what they saw as complicit silence from Biden, a longtime Israel defender.”
All of this might sound a little familiar.
Two years later, in October 2023, history repeated itself — a similar story, but with an infinitely more horrifying outcome. Another Hamas attack, but this time Israel responded by killing upwards of 11,000 Palestinians, a large majority children.
Like in 2021, Biden defended Israel’s right to “defend” itself by cutting food, fuel, and water to a population of millions while refusing to call for a ceasefire, effectively allowing Israel to reduce Gaza to a pile of smoldering blood and rubble. Biden also shipped batteries for Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system, proposed sending billions more in aid, and gave Israel unprecedented access to US weapons reserves. In just one month, Biden sealed his decades-long political legacy as “Genocide Joe”.
Trump likely wouldn’t have been much better.
In late October, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition that the United States supports Israel “without hesitation, without qualification, and any apology” in their goal to “decimate” Hamas. “This is not a conflict between two equal sides,” he said, but a conflict between “civilization and savagery”.
Trump also blamed the Hamas attack on Iran and vowed to levy sanctions against the country, perhaps not realizing Biden already beat him to it. Biden has kept Trump-era sanctions against Iran in place as well.
But in fairness, there are a few differences between the two politicians on recent events in Israel. For example, Trump claims he will ban Palestinians from entering the United States and also ban pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses. Nevermind the many legal challenges that would follow both of these proposals.
And Biden, in all of his great mediocrity, has not proposed a travel ban — and did his part on the college issue by sending along a strongly worded letter to campuses reminding them that they are obligated to fight hate speech against Muslims and Jews. Granted, it took him over a month to do so — a month which he spent repeating just about every propagandistic claim coming out of Israel, including the still unverified claim about Hamas beheading babies. Trump also repeated the claim, telling a Florida crowd in October how “44 babies had their heads cut off. Did you hear that? These are babies.”
Nonetheless, both men seem to have no problem repeating Israeli propaganda, along with giving the country a blank check to commit war crimes with US taxpayer dollars. And both men are pushing the US closer to a hot war with Iran, despite the fact that US intelligence agencies have stated Iran very much wants to avoid that.
Voters will get more bloodshed in Palestine whether Trump or Biden wins in 2024. As usual, the hardest decision will be whether they prefer their warmonger to have a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ next to their name.
Jon Reynolds is a freelance journalist covering a wide range of topics with a primary focus on the labor movement and collapsing US empire. He writes at The Screeching Kettle at Substack. Reprinted with permission.