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Biden’s moral equivalency between Israel and the Palestinians will result in failure — again

President Joe Biden is trying to have it both ways with his post Oct. 7 Israel policy. It won’t work, especially after Iran’s game-changing attack on the Jewish state over the weekend. 

Biden still claims to ‘stand with Israel.’ But he doesn’t want to stand with Israel too much because he risks losing the votes of those who support the Palestinians — including, apparently, his own wife. So now he’s encouraging Israel to stand down instead of standing up to the Iranians. 

Consider too what his administration has been doing at the United Nations. Ambassador Lisa Thomas-Greenfield abstained on March 25 from voting on UN Security Council Resolution 2728, which calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan, a release of the hostages Hamas holds, and the facilitation of humanitarian aid into Gaza. In a twist, the administration had recently proposed its own draft resolution regarding a ceasefire. 

But the resolution that did pass differs in two important respects. 

First, gone is the condemnation of Hamas’s barbaric actions on Oct. 7 as terrorist outrages against humanity — a condemnation that apparently prompted Russia and China to veto the Biden version. Second, while 2728 calls for the release of the hostages, it removes the language making any ceasefire contingent on their release.

In other words, this UNSCR turns a blind eye to Hamas terrorism and opens the door to the group getting a ceasefire while keeping the hostages — and the United States let it pass. 

Sadly, the Biden administration can point to previous and bipartisan U.S. dalliances with UNSCRs to persuade the Palestinians that the United States has not really taken a side in the conflict and is sincerely committed to their cause, even while paying lip service to America’s commitment to Israel. But such twisted logic, along with the canard that an abstention is somehow different than an affirmative vote, is too cute by half. 

This disgraceful equivocation began in January 2009, when President George W. Bush’s then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice considered voting for UNSCR 1860, which the U.S. Mission to the UN had helped draft during that round of violence provoked by Hamas.  

Like 2728, 1860 called for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Gaza, while providing no security assurances to Israel. Perhaps in the hopes of completing a peace deal in the final days of the Bush administration, Rice ultimately abstained, and 1860 passed. 

In December 2016, this pattern repeated with UNSCR 2334 at the end of the Obama administration, which condemned the settlement activities of the ‘occupying power’ Israel in the Palestinian territories, thus perpetuating the fantasy that there is an equivalency between the two parties.  

Then-U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power abstained, allowing the resolution to pass, with the cover that she was only doing what the Bush administration had done. 

None of the UNSCRs in question have done anything material to either reduce violence or produce peace in the Middle East. But they have all contributed to the counter-productive impression among the Palestinians that violence against Israel is somehow legitimate — as is their support of the perpetuators of this violence, first and foremost Hamas.  

And while that belief remains pervasive, they will not take the concrete steps necessary to end the conflict that they have lost if anyone has the courage to tell them so. 

Despite all these contortions at the United Nations, the United States cannot have it both ways on Israel. In 1923, the pioneering Zionist Ze’ev Jabotinsky wrote in his essay ‘The Iron Wall’ that until the Palestinians accept that Israel is not going away, and engage in legitimate negotiations, the only way a Jewish state could survive is through impenetrable defenses that would render the inevitable future attacks futile. 

If the Iranian attack on Israel and Oct. 7 have taught us anything, it’s that Jabotinsky was correct. Given the Biden administration’s reluctance to unequivocally support Israel’s self-defense, it stands with Congress to do so — and just as failure on Israel policy has been bi-partisan, success can be so as well.   

In other words, this UNSCR turns a blind eye to Hamas terrorism and opens the door to the group getting a ceasefire while keeping the hostages — and the United States let it pass. 

Late last year, a stand-alone, paid-for request for emergency funds for Israel passed the House of Representatives, and similar legislation could be passed again on Monday. Pro-Israel senators on both sides of the aisle should then insist it be taken up and passed immediately to demonstrate that American support for Israel is indeed ironclad. 

What is needed in the current crisis is not Biden’s default to the uni-party failures of the past, but rather a fresh appreciation for Jabotinsky’s clarity. President Donald Trump understood this wisdom, and his administration’s unabashed commitment to the U.S.-Israel alliance resulted in the first peace deals with Israel and the Arabs in a quarter-century, not the grinding misery and violence we see today. 

Any future American administration that values the U.S.-Israel alliance should make it clear Israel isn’t going away because America won’t permit it to be destroyed. Only when the Palestinians — and the Iranians — accept that as an incontrovertible fact will there be any hope that they might finally lay down their arms and sue for a just and lasting peace. Until then, only a joint U.S.-Israel Iron Wall will suffice at the U.N. and beyond. 

Victoria Coates is vice president for foreign policy and national defense at The Heritage Foundation.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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