Biden’s leadership & Republican hypocrisy

December 11, 2023

Dear Friends,


No president in history took office with a longer and stronger record on Israel than Joe Biden, and his commitment to the U.S.-Israel relationship has never been more clear than since October 7. On Friday, the Biden administration vetoed a one-sided UN Security Council Resolution supported by 13 of the 15 members of the Council. In its veto message, the administration called out Hamas’s use of sexual violence, the refusal of Hamas to allow medical access to the hostages and to release them, and Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, consistent with international law. The Biden administration stated that “no country could or should tolerate what Hamas did on October 7.” We agree with President Biden that an unconditional ceasefire “is not only unrealistic but dangerous: it would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7.” President Biden’s moral clarity represents the leadership the world expects and deserves from the United States, which is why we’re committed to ensuring he’s re-elected in 2024.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party does not share President Biden’s moral clarity or his commitment to Israel and our other allies. On October 20, President Biden requested an emergency aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and our other allies that included $14.3 billion for Israel. If Democrats were in control of the House, the request would have been fulfilled weeks ago. Instead, House Republicans conditioned aid to Israel and Senate Republicans refuse to support a clean aid package. Please join us in urging your members of Congress to support President Biden’s vital aid package in its entirety, without cuts or conditions, now.

We are all horrified by the antisemitism on college campuses and the inadequate responses of university administrators. Yet Republicans refuse to prioritize funding for President Biden’s unprecedented National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism and they are trying to defund the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which protects Jewish students from discrimination on campus. Referring to the college presidents who testified on Capitol Hill last week, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff said that “The lack of moral clarity is unacceptable. Let me be clear, when Jews are targeted because of their beliefs or identity, and when Israel is singled out because of anti-Jewish hatred, that is antisemitism and it must be condemned and condemned unequivocally and without context.”

The hypocrisy of Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) posing as an opponent of antisemitism epitomizes today’s Republican Party. Haaretz reports that Stefanik “has platformed some of the most vile antisemitic conspiracy theories of recent memory,” including Great Replacement Theory, and has never condemned any of Donald Trump’s antisemitic statements. Maybe for her next act, Stefanik should call Trump to testify. Until then, we and most Jewish Americans will rely on our genuine allies in the Biden administration to continue the vital and serious work of countering antisemitism wherever it appears.

Wishing you a happy fifth night of Hanukkah, and thank you for your partnership and support.

Halie Soifer
CEO, Jewish Democratic Council of America