Joe Biden’s Commitment to Israel
From his first visit to Israel as a freshman Senator in 1973, then throughout his years in public office, Joe Biden has been proud to stand with Israel and champion the shared values that unite our countries and our peoples. Israel is stronger and more secure today because of the unprecedented commitment the Obama-Biden administration showed to Israel’s security—including championing the life-saving Iron Dome system, ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, and signing an historic new 10-year security agreement, the largest in the history of our two nations.
In the President’s own words:
- “The conditions under which the Israeli people live, the sense of vulnerability, the constant fear of attack is real. It is not imagined. It’s real. And the people of Israel have lived under siege since the beginning. They’ve built a nation in defiance of relentless threats from their neighbors. They sustain that nation in the face of rocket attacks, terrorist tunnels, and now this unconscionable spate of stabbings…Israel is a nation of uncommon courage.”
- “Israel must always exist because it’s the only ultimate guarantor of security of the Jewish people the world over.”
- “The relationship between Israel and the United States is not about weapons systems and security assistance. It’s about the shared soul that unites our countries, generation upon generation.”
- “The United States will constantly and forever have Israel’s back.”
- “We will continue to make sure Israel has the capacity to defend itself, by itself, for itself in an incredibly dangerous neighborhood.”
Joe Biden’s commitment to Israel’s security is the source of his support for a two-state solution that results in a secure, democratic and Jewish State of Israel living in peace and dignity alongside a Palestinian State. He has never hesitated to speak out against policy choices and actions taken by either side that imperil the possibility of a peaceful outcome for all parties.
- “The only way to guarantee Israel’s future security and its continued identity as a Jewish and democratic state. It’s also the only way to ensure the dignity of the Palestinian people and provide the self-determination they deserve. A two-state solution — there is no other alternative.”
- “We have to work on renewing that will for peace. We must remind and mend the constituencies among both the Israelis and Palestinians for creating a fundamentally different future, a future where the grievances of the past are not visited upon future generations. And that means the terrorist attacks must stop. The rhetoric that incites violence against innocents, against mothers, babies, pregnant women, grandfathers, it must stop.”
- “Actions on either side to undermine trust only take us further away from the path of peace. Actions like at the U.N. to undermine Israel…or settlement activities.”
- “When the Palestinian Authority pursues a one-sided effort in international organizations — or attempts to join the International Criminal Court — those are damaging moves that only take us further from the path to peace. On the other side … I have opposed settlements for more than three decades because I believe [they are] counterproductive for Israel’s security.”
- “I firmly believe that the action that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us, and more importantly, they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction. They’re moving us toward a one-state reality. And that reality is dangerous.”
- “Our common task now is to encourage meaningful steps that reduce tension while rebuilding the constituency for peace so Israelis and Palestinians can create a fundamentally different future for their children.”
Joe Biden believes the fight to combat the insidious evil of anti-Semitism is the responsibility of each of us, and that when we fail to speak out, our silence is complicity. That includes fighting efforts to marginalize or isolate Israel at the United Nations and on the global stage, and opposing the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel.
- “We still have yet to defeat … the pernicious and persistent evil of anti-Semitism. It continues to rear its ugly head. It’s on the rise in too many parts of the world, particularly in Europe. When swastikas are painted on synagogues, when Jewish people are targeted in terrorist attacks, when thousands of European Jews immigrate to Israel out of fear, when a seemingly organized effort to discredit, delegitimize, and isolate Israel persists on the international stage, it’s dangerous. It’s wrong. And every time we encounter it, we have an obligation to speak out against it.”
- “We have to stand up against the attempts to delegitimize Israel on the world — no nation, including Israel, is immune to legitimate criticism, but it should not be unfairly singled out. So we’ll continue to stand against the biased resolutions and attempts to delegitimize Israel at the United Nations. We’ll continue to assure that Israel is represented on critical committees just like other nations. And we will continue to push back against the call here in the United States for people to boycott, disinvest, or sanction Israel. It’s wrong. Because as the Jewish people know better than any other people, any action that marginalizes one ethnic or religious group imperils us all. It’s incumbent upon all of us to stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes, who seek to scare and divide us for political gain. Because the future belongs to the bridge builders, not the wall builders.”
[All Joe Biden quotes taken from remarks available here and here.]
Watch video of President Biden’s remarks on Israel from over the years (via C-SPAN).
Vice President Kamala Harris on Israel
“Israel is a critical friend and ally to the United States. I stand with Israel, both because of our shared values, which are so fundamental to the founding of both our nations, and I believe the bonds between the people of the United States and the people of Israel are unbreakable, and we can never let anyone drive a wedge between us.”