Biden started as he means to go on and it will be bad for Jews

Joe Biden promised a return to normal after the unseemly excitements of the Trump interlude. And normal is what we now have, writes Dominic Green


US President Joe Biden speaks in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 31, 2021. - President Biden will unveil in Pittsburgh a $2 trillion infrastructure plan aimed at modernizing the United States' crumbling transport network, creating millions of jobs and enabling the country to "out-compete" China. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

April 29, 2021 11:08

It is an American tradition that a new President’s performance is judged after his first 100 days. Like all American traditions, this is a recent invention, reflecting how the media have deformed public life and turned politics into a piece of theatre.

Unless you’re Napoleon, the hundred-day count is arbitrary. It does, though, tell us what kind of presidency we’ll be getting. And this one will not be good for the Jews.

Joe Biden has been in Washington so long that he may remember when the Democrats still had Southern segregationists in their ranks. For decades he specialised in the rhetoric of American supremacy: saluting the flag, waving the apple pie, defending the American way of life by passing laws that sent a generation of young black men to jail and signing off on foolish foreign wars.

Biden now claims to have undergone a late-life conversion. The dodderer that Donald Trump called “Sleepy Joe” has gone woke. He calls America racist in its roots and heart. He argues for blasting the bodies of children with hormones to “transition” boys into girls. He talks about the need to push “social justice” and “racial justice” and “environmental justice” onto the school curriculum.

American Jews are on the hook for all this. As honorary whites, they’re “adjacent” to “white supremacy”. As meritocrats, they’re guilty of keeping the less deserving from a government-assisted hoist up the ladder of opportunity. As middle-class taxpayers, they’re about to get the tab for a spending spree that makes FDR looks like Ebenezer Scrooge. And the more observant Jews are, the more they’re at odds with the Democrats’ anything-goes libertinism.

Joe Biden promised a return to normal after the unseemly excitements of the Trump interlude. And normal is what we now have — the new American normal, which is blatantly daft and damaging. Politics being war by other means, a new administration tries to destroy all traces of the last one. The result is absurd polarisation and a general deficiency of seriousness.Trump’s Jews were Orthodox and pro-settlement, so Biden’s must be anti-Zionists from the fringe of the left. Trump was tight with Netanyahu, so Biden must be tight with anyone who isn’t Netanyahu. Trump rejected the Iran Deal, so Biden must revive it as the key to global peace.

Trump cut off funds for the Palestinian Authority because it is a corrupt failure that subsidises terrorism. So Biden’s State Department promises to send millions to it, regardless of the legal obstacles that Congress has erected. Trump brokered peace between Israel and the Gulf states, so the new State Department spokesman must reduce himself and America’s diplomats to new depths of childishness by refusing to speak the words “Abraham Accords”.

Trump withdrew the US from the rogue’s gallery that is the UN’s Human Rights Council. Biden has rejoined it. The administration and its cheerleaders in the media made much of the fact that America’s emissary to the panel of killers and crooks at the UN is a black woman. This is typically provincial. Biden’s domestic constituencies might be thrilled but the rest of the world has long figured the Americans for hypocrites.

But then the rest of the world exists for this administration as actors in a drama of American morality. This is not going to end well and we can already see how.

Within his first 100 days, Biden has needlessly antagonised Vladimir Putin, who has announced he will seek closer security cooperation with China. The recognition of the Armenian Genocide has led Erdogan to threaten closer alignment with Russia and Iran; instead of reassuring his NATO allies, Biden has thrown the organisation into a greater crisis than Trump did when he asked members to pay their own way. And begging Iran to restart negotiations on the Iran Deal has encouraged the mullahs to spin their centrifuges that much faster.

The limbo of the Israeli elections means the Biden administration is downplaying its hostility to the Jewish state. This is only a temporary lull. Expect a serious diplomatic crisis sooner or later — sooner, if the administration gets its way.

Dominic Green is deputy editor of The Spectator’s US edition.

April 29, 2021 11:08

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